Authors: Sophia Hampton
This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons--living or dead--is entirely coincidental.
Love Me an Angel copyright @ 2014 by Sophia Hampton. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embedded in critical articles or reviews.
LOVE ME AN ANGEL
I’ve always had my suspicions about
the line of work my family is in. I’ve overheard whispers in the dark, rumors around town. We’re bikers, and although I’m not naïve about us living a little outside of the law sometimes, I’ve always been pretty happy in my ignorance. That was, at least, until one night—the night that I met Brian. That’s when everything changed.
I find myself at the biker bar that my brothers always want to go to and, as they were my rides, I pretty much always ended up wherever they want to go. Being the youngest and also the only girl in a family with three older brothers, I was used to not getting my own way. That said, I love my big brothers. I know the Stone Boys have a bit of a reputation for causing trouble and getting into fights, but I also know that they would do anything to protect me and that makes me feel pretty safe. No one in their right mind would want to get on the wrong side of them.
“Another shot for the ladies, Mr. Bartender,” Brooklyn says, smiling at Joe and batting her eyelashes. But the effect is ruined a little when she hiccups loudly and dissolves into a fit of giggles.
“Wow, looks like someone has had enough,” I say, simultaneously miming to Joe to cut her off, and he knows that means to just bring her water rather than the vodka she seems to have been downing all night. She’s been doing this for the past 3 months, ever since we both turned 21. You would have thought that the novelty of getting wasted would wear off after a while.
“You’re no fun!” Brooklyn tells me as she pouts prettily. She is my best friend in the whole world; we’ve known each other since kindergarten and she wants to get out of this town almost as badly as I do.
“Just take a sip of this and sit down for a minute,” I encourage her as I hand over the water that Joe has dutifully delivered, and I mouth thanks to him.
Brooklyn takes a couple of sips and then, like clockwork, her face goes a slightly concerning shade of green. “Restroom,” she mutters as she sprints to the Ladies’ covering her mouth.
“Just another Friday night at ‘Wheels’,” I sigh as I take a look around at the bar, listing all the people as I tick them off. These are the regulars. There’s Josie who has slept her way through pretty much all the bikers in the gang; she was pretty but she was now pushing 40 and all the years of hard-living were starting to take their toll. There was Colt, one of the old timers who was so named because he always carried his trusty revolver of the same name with him wherever he went. I’d never actually seen him use the pistol but the reputation was enough for no one to get on his bad side.
As I take in the scene I notice a guy that I’ve never seen in Wheels before. He looks like he was born in a leather jacket; he has dark brown hair, and even from where I’m standing, I can see he has amazing blue eyes. He is probably the best looking guy I’ve ever seen in my life and I can tell from the gaggle of women around him that I’m not the only one that’s noticed. Our eyes meet and I quickly look away, hoping he hasn’t noticed that I was staring at him. That would be too embarrassing. I turn around hurriedly, facing the bar again and trying to get Joe’s attention for another drink; I need something to do with my hands.
“Whisky, straight up,” the manly voice says from my side and when I look up at the face that goes with the voice, I’m surprised and a little unsettled to find the hot guy has made his way over to me. “What’ll it be for you?” he asks, looking down at me like he clearly expects an answer. I flick a look over to my brothers, who are at a table over on the other side of the bar. They don’t seem to have noticed the attention I’m getting yet. I know that as soon as they do, things might get a little tense.
“I’ll get my own drink, thanks,” I say to him quietly, never taking my eyes off of my brothers.
The guy follows my stare and looks between my brothers and me, taking in the situation, and I wonder if it’s my imagination or if I see a ghost of a smile pass across his lips. “No, I insist,” he says, leaning closer to me, and I feel my heart beat a little faster in response. “I’m Brian,” he says after a beat, holding out his hand.
“Casey,” I reply, looking at his hand but not shaking it. “Casey Stone,” I tell him, and from his expression I can tell that he already knows who I am. “And if my brothers see someone from The Eagles talking to me, they’re not likely to be very happy, are they?” I ask him, smiling sweetly but enjoying the fact that I’ve seen right through his game. “So if you’re trying to piss them off, you’re doing a pretty good job so far,” I tell him.
“Smart and beautiful,” Brian says under his breath, but loud enough for me to hear. “You got me.” He holds up his hands in mock surrender. “I may have come over here just to see if I could rile your brothers up a little bit, but that’s not why I’m
here,” he admits.
“And why is that?” I ask, looking up at him from under my dark lashes, smiling and knowing that I’m flirting with someone that there is no way my family would allow me to be seen with.
“Well, you’re pretty easy on the eyes to start with,” Brian replies, openly staring at my long legs and the denim mini-skirt that doesn’t leave much to the imagination. “And it turns out that you have a brain in that beautiful brunette head of yours,” he says, “and that’s rarer than you might think around here,” he adds a little bitterly.
Before I can agree and tell him that I can’t wait to get out of this place either, Aaron’s voice comes from behind me: “This guy bothering you Case?” he asks, looking threateningly at Brian. Aaron is eight years older than me; he’s head of the family and the oldest of the Stone boys.
“No, it’s fine, Aaron, he was just getting me a drink and then he was going to leave,” I say, looking pointedly at Brian.
“I hadn’t realized it was illegal to speak to a beautiful woman in this place,” Brian says lazily, like Aaron’s challenge isn’t even worth his time. But from the way he’s taking in his surroundings I can tell he’s figuring out his exit options in case things get too hairy.
“She’s not a ‘beautiful woman,’ she’s my sister,” Aaron replies, and I see my other two brothers start to get up from the table looking like they’re getting ready for action.
“Well gee, thanks big bro,” I joke, trying to diffuse the situation. “But Brian really is just about to leave,” I say firmly, looking at him. “Please go,” I whisper, quietly enough for Brian to hear me but no one else.
He looks down at me and for one dreadful, wonderful moment I think he may be about to kiss me. But he just gives me a gentle smile and steps away from the bar, raising his hands. “Great to meet you, Casey. Aaron—always a pleasure,” he says sarcastically and makes his way slowly out the door. I don’t start breathing again until I hear a motorbike engine roar into life and then drive away.
“You alright?” Jake, my middle brother asks as he quickly comes to my side with Max, and I’m suddenly surrounded by the full force of the Stone boys.
“I’m fine. You guys didn’t have to make such a big deal about it. We were just talking,” I tell them. I don’t add that I wanted to do way more than just talk to Brian.
“He’s an Eagle, Case, he shouldn’t even have been in here,” Jake tells me. “And I didn’t like the way he was looking at you.”
“I’m 21 guys, I’m not a kid anymore,” I remind them all, and I catch a look of understanding from Max. He’s my twin, only a minute older than me. We had always been so close, but since he’s got more involved in Stone Biker business it seems like he’s drifting further and further away from me. He was always a happy, gentle kid, but whatever they’re getting him to do is making him hard.
“No you’re not a kid, but you’re a Stone and that means no Eagle looks at you that way,” Aaron says decisively. After a few more assurances that nothing happened and that I’m fine, the boys head back to their table and, I hope, forget about what just happened.
“Who was the honey?” Brooklyn asks as she appears out of nowhere looking substantially less green than when she left.
“Just a guy. A guy I can’t have,” I add under my breath.
“No such thing as ‘can’t’ sweetheart,” Brooklyn tells me, smiling smugly. “He slipped me his number on his way out,” she tells me and holds it up triumphantly like a trophy.
That night in my bedroom I hold the slip of paper with Brian’s number scrawled on it in my hands and I think about what to do. I’ve never been the one to make the move, so this was new territory for me. My brothers had made it clear that I wasn’t to talk to Brian, let alone do anything else with him. But I’m finding it hard not to think about him and it wasn’t just because he was insanely hot. There was something more there, a connection I felt as soon as I saw him and our eyes locked. In that second everything had changed for me, but I know that the only reason he had come over to talk to me was to rub my brothers up the wrong way. Well, he’d definitely achieved that! I look at the clock by my bed. It’s close to 1am. Too late to call, and I know that I
call him, but I also know that I want to, I want to more than anything else.
He picks up on the third ring. “Took you long enough,” he says in a low voice, and I feel a tingle just at the sound of his voice.
“How did you know it was me?” I ask, standing up and pacing around my room. I’m nervous and I need to burn off some of that energy.
“How many beautiful girls do you think I gave my number to tonight?” he asks, and I feel myself blush.
“I don’t know, I guess it depends on how many people you were trying to piss off,” I joke, and I’m rewarded by his laugh.
“I hope they didn’t give you a hard time?” Brian asks, and he sounds genuinely concerned.
“No more than usual,” I half-joke.
Brian is silent for a moment and then, as if he’s decided something, he asks, “What are you doing right now?”
“Walking around my room wondering how I’m going to get to sleep,” I tell him truthfully.
“I’ll be at the end of your street in 10 minutes. If you want to see me then be there, if not then don’t worry, I won’t contact you again,” he says and then abruptly hangs up.
I cradle the cell phone in my hand for a few moments, knowing what it would mean if I go; my brothers would never approve—he’s a member of a rival gang and there’s no way they will let that slide. But I’ve already made my decision: I want to see him. I’m desperate to see him, in fact. My brothers are probably out back shooting the breeze and drinking a few beers in the warm Colorado night air. They won’t even notice I’m gone. I slip down the stairs, careful not to step on the floorboards that I know creak. As I get to the front door I hear the swing door to the kitchen open and close behind me.
“Where you headed, Case?” Max asks, and I turn around slowly while trying to even out my breathing.
“Nowhere. Couldn’t sleep, thought I’d take a walk,” I say, although I’m aware how improbable this sounds. I’ve never been very good at lying, especially not to Max.
He looks doubtfully at me and I know he doesn’t believe me, but he lets it slide. “You know we weren’t kidding about that Brian guy, right? If he tries anything with you, if he even looks so much in your general direction, we want to know about it,” he tells me. “This is serious Case,” he adds, but he doesn’t expand.
“I know, I’ve got it Max,” I assure him. “I’ll see you later,” I say and close the front door gently behind me. I take a quick look around to make sure that my twin brother hasn’t decided to check up on me, and when I’m satisfied that I’m alone I take off down the street, hurrying to make sure I’m not late. The last thing I want is to be late and for Brian to think I don’t want to see him. When I get to the end of the street I peer through the darkness and see a figure leaning against some railings. I take a deep breath and without hesitation I walk towards him.
“I wasn’t sure if you’d come,” Brian says, and even in the dark I’m aware of the heat of his gaze.
“I almost got busted by one of my brothers,” I tell him and I see him take a look behind me as if to double check that I’m on my own.
He takes a step towards me, planting his hands on my shoulders and looking deep into my eyes. “They can’t know about us. No one can,” he says firmly.