Authors: Evie Harper
Tags: #Portland Street Kings
THE PORTLAND STREET KINGS
Copyright © 2016 by Evie Harper
Published by Evie Harper. First Edition July 2016
All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing. Except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For permission requests, email the author at
This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, places are incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy of each person you share it with. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was no purchased for your use only, then you should return it to the seller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.
Cover Design: Letitia from Romantic Book Affairs
Editing: Hot Tree Editing
Proofreading: KMS Freelance Editing
Cover Images: Darren Birks Photography and Shutterstock
Tail is book three in the Portland Street Kings series. Therefore Collision, book one and Fatal, book two should be read before Tail. These books are
standalone’s. The overall plot continues throughout each novel, however each story does have a new couple with previous characters.
OTHER BOOKS BY EVIE HARPER
YOU LOVED ME
PORTLAND STREET KINGS
To all the readers who have fallen in love with the Portland Street Kings. I appreciate each and every message you send me. Thank you for loving the Kings as much as I do.
For Mature Audience 18+
Contains Adult Situations & Language
Archer nips at my shirt and then at my shorts, hoping to find more apple slices. I smile at his determination. “Nothing left, bud. You cleaned me out.” Leaning on the gate, I place both hands on Archer's nose and give him a kiss before I head to the house. Abi promised to show me how to make a pork tenderloin sandwich, Iowa style, tonight.
Jared and Abigail hold a permanent and special place in my heart. They’re the grandparents I never had. They’ve been a soft place for me to land over the last few weeks. Abi has this beautiful grace about her, even when she’s smacking my elbows off the table at dinner time, while Jared takes no bullshit. You speak the truth always, or he’ll pull you up no matter who's around and call you out. Yet he has the softest eyes and the warmest hugs.
I often wonder if this is
what all parents are like:
strict yet so welcoming there’s no other place you’d rather be.
Walking out of the barn, I spot Dom across the way trying to fix the seed planter. His determination and hard work to help Jared and Abi get their farm back in working order has earned my respect. And reminded me of the man he was before my heart broke in two. No matter how high or thick I built my walls, he kept crashing through them until all that was left were my fears. With my protection gone, my anger leaped to stand in its place; I cut Dom deep, got nasty and hurt him as much as he hurt me. And then there was nowhere else to run, nowhere else to hide. I was stuck out in the open and my heart was exposed. I was forced to remember the love I’d pushed so far down I’d almost forgotten it was there at all.
When Dom and I arrived, I'd been scared, afraid to show I cared at all. I didn’t want to be a fool again, but Abigail and Jared showed me what I’d be missing if I didn’t at least try to reach out to Dom, to speak my fears, and lay my doubts and scars bare before him. There were a lot, and I couldn’t make any promises for what our future might be like. The things I’ve been through have shaped who I am and will shape who I’m yet to become.
Fear and anger are my defensive mechanisms. I expect tragedy now. It's only a matter of time, and it’s why leaving tomorrow is so important. The Harris farm is everything I ever dreamed of as a child. Every grain of love that’s cemented in every brick and piece of dirt that fills this beautiful place is what I envisioned. The echoes of a once whole and happy family with carefree children who’d race through this barn and field, laughter filling the air is what it embodies. If I close my eyes, I can hear the giggles, see the smiles and even pretend I was one of them. It’s inevitable, though, that I must open my eyes and realize it's a dream that can’t ever come true. So tomorrow, Dom and I will leave and return home to my fucked-up life. And this farm, Abigail, and Jared will always be my happy place. Somewhere I can go in my mind when times get tough and hopefully one day I can bring my family here, and they can feel the same sense of peace and love I’ve felt.
Dom looks up at that second, and I give him a small grin. He winks at me before going back to fixing the machine.
Walking to the house, I squint to see if I can spot Abi through the kitchen window, but I freeze when a gunshot sounds, and it’s quickly followed by a scream from Abi.
Quickly twisting my head to find Dom, I see him dropping his tools and running, but he’s not going toward the house; he’s coming straight at me.
My knees bend, and I pump my arms out and race to the house.
I won’t abandon them.
“Della.” I hear Dom growling quietly behind me. I sense his heat at my back as he closes in on me. I want to scream how much I hate him for what he’s trying to do, but I can’t focus on anything other than keeping my shaking legs steady as I run.
Sensing something whip past my back, I know it’s Dom reaching out for me. I attempt to go right, but he captures me, his arm going firmly around my waist. A hand slams over my mouth, and Dom rushes us backward to the barn and inside. Struggling, he pushes me against the wall and pins me there before releasing his hand from my mouth.
“Dom, don’t do this. We
to help them.” The fear in my voice forces my words to come out strangled.
“I’m going to, but you have to promise me, Dell, that you'll stay out of sight and let me deal with this. I won’t go until I’m absolutely sure you will stay here and keep yourself safe.” His words come out rushed and out of breath.
Unspeakable fury wraps around my heart and chest, and all I can do is grate out, “I promise. Go.”
Dom pushes off me and races out of the barn so quickly I drop to the ground before I can find my footing.
Leaning against the barn wall, I stare up at the roof, tears falling fast and heavy. My mouth opens, and I scream an almighty silent curse to the heavens, damning them for bringing me tragedy yet again. For not letting me have even this small amount of happiness in my life.
Everywhere I go, darkness follows.
“I hate you,” Della says with a coldness I’ve never heard from her before. Even so, a sudden lightness hits my body because she spoke to me, acknowledged me. Since Della woke up from her wrist surgery three days ago, she’s not said one word to me.
Slater let me know that he’d spoken with her about who I truly am and what I was really doing in Portland. I know he wouldn’t have shown me any favors. Instead, he would have told Della bluntly that I was a lying motherfucker, who would not ever be welcomed into their home again. He would have told her everything, each tiny slice of truth, and as much as my mind tells me it’s what’s best—get it all out there and maybe she can forgive me—my heart is screaming on the inside. It doesn’t want to take any chances when it comes to Della.
“I know,” I reply, dropping down into the hospital chair and bowing my head in defeat.
“Don’t do that,” she demands, and I raise my eyes to look at her. “Don’t wear that ‘pity me’ look. It makes me sick that you get to walk around like you’ve been hard done by when you’re the liar. You’re the one who fooled me.”
I’m not sure if I should be happy that she at least feels something for me, even if it is anger, or if I’m just blind to the rejection.
“You deserve to be angry, Dell—"
“Don’t,” she grits out. “It’s Della to you.”
Shaking my head, I stand with more power behind my actions this time. If she doesn’t want to deal with us right now, then fine; we do have bigger problems. “I get it. You hate me.” My voice is strong. “That doesn't change what’s coming, and you and I both know you can’t stay here. Come with me to Minnesota. Lucini sent Paulie, his
, to find and kill you, Della, and fuck, I’m not kidding when I say that man knows no bounds. He’ll wipe out all your brothers when they try to protect you. He'll get to you whatever way he can to do his job and be on the next fucking plane home to have dinner with his wife and kids. If we leave today, we could have a good day or two head start on him, and then he’ll never know where you went. We’ll call your brothers from the road and explain.”
Della squeezes her eyebrows together and looks out through the large glass window. Her shoulders tense, and she fists her hands, but it must have been automatic because she winces in pain when moving her left hand.
Instinctively, I step toward her, but I freeze when she recoils from me. My heart shatters into a million pieces knowing my touch actually disgusts her.
I take a hasty step backward, trying to conceal the hurt building inside me because I only have myself to blame for this. Della feels things strongly. She may be putting on a brave face, but I know she doesn’t like to hurt people on purpose. I don’t want her to hurt anymore for me, even if it’s because she’s the one putting me through the pain.
“Why Minnesota?” she asks.
“I have friends who live there. Good people who can help us. I also have a home there, and you can stay as long as you need to.”
And there's someone I need to say good-bye to.
Della nods. “All right, I’ll go with you to Minnesota. Try and form a plan with my brothers and also see if your friends can help me, but other than that, Minnesota is where we end. I’ll meet your friends and find my own way from there.”
Swallowing hard, I nod and ask, “What about the O’Connors, your brothers? They could also help you. Hell, I'm not sure you could keep them out of this.”
Della's eyes light up when I mention her blood brothers, but she quickly conceals her excitement and looks down at her shattered wrist and mutters, “One problem at a time. I don’t want to make any decisions until this is all over and I can talk with my brothers about meeting the O’Connors. Skipping town, going on the run, and doing that with you is about all they can handle at the moment.”