Read DOM (Brothers In Ink Romances Series Book 1) Online
Authors: Linda Cooper
Brothers In Ink Romance Series 1
Copyright © 2015 by Linda Cooper
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is entirely coincidental. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Table of Contents
I dropped down beside Luke without saying a word. One more day.
Just one more day, and I was done here. I wouldn’t see my three best friends in a long time, but it would be worth it.
Jacob glanced at me. “So what are you going to do?”
I shrugged. “Get a job, get my life back … as much as I can.” It wasn’t what I wanted to do, but it was what we would all have to do. I stared down at my hands. “The first thing I’m going to do is get that tattoo,” I whispered.
No one at our table spoke. Finally, after what felt like forever, Priest spoke, the scar on his cheek tilting up. “We’ll all see each other.” It sounded more like a question than anything else. “We’ll stay in contact.”
Jacob, the one sitting beside him, reached out and touched his shoulder. “Of course, we will.”
They’d been together for what felt like ages, from when they were young kids running around getting into trouble.
Giving him a weak smile, I said, “We’ll get together one year from now. Once we’ve all got our shit sorted out. We need to … we need to live first before we do this.”
One Year Later
I pulled up outside the shop and switched off the car’s ignition. Grabbing my purse, I popped the door open and made my way into the store. I’d been putting this off for too long, and it was about time I got my ass in gear. A bell chimed as I stepped inside, but no one was around so I made my way over to the tires and began looking for the ones I wanted.
“Hi, I’m Dom, how can I help you?” a voice called out before a figure emerged from around the corner.
I spun to face him, tossing my long red hair to the side so it didn’t get in my way. My eyes widened a little as I saw him, and I couldn’t help the smile that spread over my face. “Hi.” I cleared my throat as I looked him over. Black hair, green eyes and a strong jawline. He wore dirty jeans and a black T-shirt peppered with holes. He looked kind of appealing to me. “I need new tires.”
He shook his head, his expression apologetic. “Oh, I’m sorry, but we won’t be able to fit you in today. Our garage is totally full; I doubt we could fit an ATV in here if we wanted.”
“That’s fine,” I said. my eyes locked with his. “I just want them put on the rims anyways if you would be able to do that for me?” There was no point in paying someone to do something I could do after all. His jaw almost fell open as he stared at me.
Trying not to laugh, I stepped closer, my eyes roaming over his body. I noted the tattoos first; a small cut on his left knuckles was bleeding over some numbers written there. It looked like a date to me though I could be wrong.
“We can do that,” he said at length. “Do you have them with you now? I can do them right away.”
I grinned. “That would be perfect.”
Frowning, I pushed myself up from the couch and headed for the door. My fingers curled around the handle as someone rang the bell again. Pulling the door open, I stared into a pair of beautiful green eyes. I hadn’t noticed the tattoos on his neck earlier, but now that I saw them, I wasn’t sure how I’d missed them. “Um, hi,” he managed.
“Hello? How do you know where I live?” I felt my heart beat accelerate. Had he followed me all day, and I hadn’t noticed?
“I … might have used that address you gave me when signing up for the email offers,” His face turned a touch pink.
Raking a hand through my hair, I said, “I thought you guys signed some sort of contract saying that you don’t use them for personal gain or give them out to companies?”
“True.” His eyes met the ground momentarily before connecting with me again, his expression a mask of guilt. “This means that you could get me fired if you want, and if you report me to my boss, I won’t say you’re wrong. I understand that by coming out here I’m taking that risk but … I just felt so bad at not being able to put your tires on for you, I wanted to drop by and see if you’d like me to do them now.”
“So … you’re done work? And you came by to see if I wanted you to put my tires on for me?”
“For no charge obviously,” he added quickly.
My eyes narrowed. Something was going on here, I just wasn’t sure what. “Thank you, but I already put them on myself.” He raised an eyebrow at me.
“Yes, is there something wrong with that?”
He stared at me a little speechless. “Sorry. I just … I’m so used to women coming into the shop who don’t even know how to check their fluids … I … you remind me of someone I used to know.”
The look in his eyes made it obvious. He’d loved her.
“Yes well,” I felt a tug of jealously, and I wasn’t quite sure why. “My daddy taught me how to change a tire when I was 14.”
“That’s funny. My mom taught me at about the same age.” He gave a small grin. “Look, I didn’t mean to offend you when I stopped by to see if you wanted help. I just …. I was kind of hoping maybe I could get to know you a little better.” I stared at him in silence for a couple seconds. “It’s the tattoo.” He nodded towards my forearm. The red rose running up my arm was what he meant.
“Oh … Yea.”
“1934, is she your grandmother?”
“Yea.” I nodded. “I pretty much lived with her when I was younger … She used to babysit me … until she passed away.”
“So the tattoo is to honor her memory?”
“Yup. Rose Honley. I got the tattoo last summer, and it was the best thing I’ve ever done.” I surprised myself as I opened up to the man in front of me like I had to very few others.
He held his knuckles out to me. 09222005. No. 09/22 2005.
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
I shrugged. “It’s alright … it, well, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.”
He looked away from me. “Anyways, I just … I can leave. I hope I haven’t scared you or anything, and I promise I’m not going to harass you or … anything.” He forced a smile over his lips and turned on his heel.
He stopped and turned back to me. “Yea?”
“I thought you wanted to get to know me.” I watched him open his mouth but cut him off. “I’ve had a rough day, but maybe we could get together on the weekend … if you’re free, and you could get to know me a little more.”
He grinned. “I would love that. Does Friday night work for you? I get off work at 4:00.”
With a nod of my head, I said, “I know a great little place down near the auto shop, I can meet you there. If that works for you.”
“Yea, I can make that work.”
I gave him the address and waved goodbye as he walked down my driveway, not waiting to see what kind of car he drove—that could be a surprise on Friday. As I closed my front door and locked it, I let out a deep breath. I had a date … with a random guy who had showed up at my house. Kinda strange but okay.
That Friday, I approached the park around 4:00. Somehow, he was already sitting there waiting for me. He didn’t wear dirty jeans or a T-shirt full of holes. Actually, he looked like he cleaned up kind of nice. A lot more than nice to be exact. His black hair was washed and no longer covered in grease, and it even looked like he’d tried to remove some of the oil from his hands.
“Hey,” I sounded just as nervous as I felt. “You’re early.”
“Wanted to make a good impression, I guess.” He smiled, looking me over. “You look great.”
“Thanks.” I swallowed dryly. I’d picked a simple green tank top and skinny jeans, but I knew it would be enough to make him think I looked good … the shirt was a little low cut. Just enough to be sexy but still classy.
“So, there’s a really great café around the corner, I thought maybe …”
“Actually, I made reservations for us somewhere. I hope that’s okay.”
My jaw almost dropped. “Yea. Of course.” When he’d come to my house it seemed like he had no clue what he was doing, and here he was … all cleaned up and making reservations for a dinner for us. “Let’s go.” I forced a smile in hopes he wouldn’t see how surprised I was.
He grinned as he nodded and led the way towards the waterfront.
We walked in silence for a while. It wasn’t an awkward silence really, but I still felt the need to try and fill it. “So, did you grow up around here?”
“No. I needed a fresh start a year or so ago, and this seemed like a good place to try and make one.”
“I see,” I said reflecting. I knew all about needing a fresh start. When my mom and dad split up … well, it had been the reason we moved here.
“What about you?”
“Needed a fresh start too.” It was all I said, and he didn’t ask me any more about it. For that, I was thankful. As we made our way closer to the waterfront, we made small chat about our days. He told me about what it was like to be a mechanic, what he did in his spare time, and he even mentioned a couple friends. “But anyways,” he turned to me, his eyes suddenly intense, “why don’t you tell me about yourself?”
“There isn’t much to say. I keep books for my sister’s furniture shop and am saving up to go to school to become a psychologist. I don’t really have a social life outside of one friend, but I’m okay with that. My dad and I are still really close. We get together at least once a month or so and just … sit around mostly.” I laughed softly as we came to a stop in front of a grey building.
There was a sign in the window indicating it was open, as well as a bolder one that I assumed was the name of the place. The Digs.
I scowled as he pulled the door open, and the scent of grease hit me. Wrinkling my nose, I looked around, there were lots of empty tables, and I couldn’t help but wonder if there were a reason for that. Or about his remark on getting us a reservation. I didn’t say anything as we made our way to a table in the front of the building. Reaching for a menu, I asked, “Is this a regular hangout of yours?“
He nodded. “Yes. A friend of mine works here, and if I do say so myself, the food is actually a lot better than you would expect to see from a place like this.”
I turned my attention to the speaker. He grinned as he eyed Dom. Dom grinned back.
“Hey Luke, what’s up?”
“Workin’, workin’, workin’. Now, what do you want to drink?” His voice was silky, but the way he spoke to Dom sounded rough.
“I’ll take a lemonade.” The guy nodded and jotted something down in a small notebook before turning his attention to me. “Can I get you something to drink as well?” He sounded much softer as he looked me in the eyes.
“Just water please.”
“Of course, I’ll be right back with your drinks.” He nodded and left us alone.
“I take it that is a friend of yours?”
“Yea.” Dom was still grinning. Before either of us could say anything else, his phone beeped from somewhere in his pocket. He pulled it out as if it were on fire and stared down at it, his eyes widening a little, and for a couple minutes I was sure he’d completely forgotten about me.
I cleared my throat before taking a sip of water as he stared down at the phone. It didn’t seem to do me any good. My eyes narrowed, and I was about to say something until someone cleared their throat to my left. I turned to see our waiter standing there. He smiled. “Did you two decide what you want to get?”
Dom looked up, his eyes wide and his face pale. “I … I’ll take the usual.” He forced a smile over his lips as he glanced at me for a millisecond. The two men shared a look without saying a word, but the look they gave each other seemed to be enough to turn the waiter a shade paler, as well. He turned his attention to me. “And you?” he asked, his voice quieter than it had been a couple seconds ago.
“I’d like a club sandwich please,” I said. I’d had a while to think about it when I was being ignored by the person I was supposed to be on a sorta date with. What could possibly have made him react like that?
As his friend walked away, he turned his attention to me. “Sorry about that, I um … I’m sorry. I’m probably not going to be a very good date. I understand if you want to leave.”
I bit my lip, then asked, “What’s wrong?”
He stared at me as if shocked that I didn’t just jump up and run. “I …” He pushed himself to his feet. “I can’t do this,” he whispered. “I’m sorry, I just … I can’t.”
And with that he was gone. I heard the door slam shut behind him, and I was left sitting there in complete shock.
“Where did he go?”
“I have no fucking clue.” I got to my feet, pulled my wallet from my purse, took a ten dollar bill out and dropped it on the table. “I know you probably already got started on the food, so I hope this covers it.”
Before he could say a word to me, I walked away.
I couldn’t believe it. He just up and left like that.
What the fuck is wrong with him?
Is there something wrong with me? I mean, I know I’m not perfect, but I pass for it for a while, and it wasn’t like I was talking crazy or creepy or anything. So why would did he just jump up and storm away like that?
I stormed into the house without a word and heard a woman gasp from the bedroom. Clearly I had interrupted something, which I would normally care about, but right now wasn’t the time to care. Right now, I needed to talk to him as soon as I could.