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Beyond Reason (Lost Kings MC #9)
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WHEN THE MOST TOXIC PEOPLE COME DISGUISED AS FAMILY, WHO CAN YOU TRUST?
Betrayal by blood cuts the deepest.
Teller’s found his ride or die girl. The light Charlotte brings to his life has touched the darkest parts of his soul. But a devastating secret from her past resurfaces to threaten their future.
Every truth can be erased with one lie.
When a sinister truth is exposed, it forces Charlotte to question everything about herself. Even whether she’s worthy of Teller’s love.
The darkest betrayals never come from your enemies.
With Teller’s love roaring louder than the lies, Charlotte can finally put her demons to rest. But has too much damage been done for her to prove her loyalty to the Lost Kings?
This is the conclusion to Teller’s story. Beyond Reckless should be read first.
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Never expect loyalty from people who can’t give you honesty.
“Would you put your damn phone away before you get us into an accident,” Murphy scolds from the passenger seat of my truck.
“Shut up. The light’s red. I’m worried about Charlotte. Haven’t heard from her all day.”
“You think hanging out with Alexa last weekend scared her away?”
I snort. Doubt it. Charlotte eased right into helping me care for Alexa. Been thinking all sorts of things that are way too soon to be thinking about ever since. “No,” I finally answer.
“Well, I need your full attention tonight.” He motions toward the green light and lets out an exasperated snort.
“You got it.” He’s right. Time to pull my head out of my ass now. Worry about Charlotte later. “She’s probably just catching up on work from last week.” While she never came right out and said it, I’m pretty sure she rearranged her schedule to help me out. Something I both appreciated and felt guilty about.
“Do you want my opinion?” Murphy asks.
He chuckles. “Tough. Brace yourself.”
When I let out a short laugh, he continues, “You don’t want to admit it, but you need a chick who sets boundaries.”
“You think that’s what she’s doing?”
“I mean, she’s a strong chick who isn’t afraid to say no to you.”
“And that’s a good thing?”
It’s true. She’s sweet as hell, but she’s got a fiery temper and not afraid to call me out when I’m being a dick. Even more, she listens and wants to know why I’m such a moody jerk.
“This is real. Otherwise, you’re taking a huge risk for just a fuck.”
I reach over and punch him. “She’s not—”
“I didn’t say she was.”
“She’s feisty when she wants to be.”
“Yeah, I figured. That’s why when you finally own her ass, it’s—”
“Different.” I understand what he’s getting at. Bunnies are good for a quick release. For fun. But they can’t keep my interest, and they don’t give a shit about who I am beyond my place in the club.
“Better than anything you had before,” he says with absolute authority.
“What would you know about it? You look at Heidi and she fuckin’ jumps.”
Should’ve thought that one through because I don’t really want an answer.
Glancing over, I see he’s wearing the smirk that suggests I’d rather not know what he’s thinking. “Trust me, your sister has no problem expressing herself.”
I snort and shake my head. An evil thought enters my brain and immediately leaves my mouth. “Fuck, she doesn’t make you get on all fours and bark like a dog, does she?”
His laughter fills the truck cab and he punches my arm. “No, you creepy-ass perv. Where do you come up with this shit?”
This is too good not to keep poking at him. “Does she make you wear a bear costume?” I tap my finger against my cheek and pretend to consider it. “Because I can kind of see her doing that.”
He’s laughing so hard, I barely make out the, “You’re such a dick,” he sputters at me.
“What I was trying to explain—before you shared all the disgusting thoughts in your warped head,” he says after he stops laughing, “is you still think of her as a bratty little kid. Not a woman who knows her own mind.”
“No, I don’t.”
In a quieter voice, he adds, “I’m not taking advantage of her.”
“Hey, I don’t think that at all.”
“Okay,” he says, before turning to stare out the window. “I missed this.”
“Joking around with you.” He runs his palms over his jeans a few times before continuing. “I’m so sorry I didn’t go with you guys that day.” His somber tone is weighed down with guilt and it brings me right back to the darkest parts of the last few months.
The darkness Charlotte’s helped me crawl out of without even realizing it.
I swallow hard. I could’ve lost him too if he’d been there. “I’m not mad at you,” I finally say.
“You asked me to go with you, and I should have. I knew—”
“I don’t blame you or anything stupid like that.” Never once have I thought Mariella’s death was anyone else’s fault but mine.
“Well, Heidi and me together hasn’t helped. I don’t—”
“I’m not mad at you about that either.”
“You’re not?” he asks, sounding genuinely surprised.
“She’s my baby sister. I don’t want her with anyone. And you’re my best friend. It was a little weird for me.”
“It’s not about you,” he says quietly.
“Yeah, I get that. It’s not that I think you two shouldn’t be together. I trust you to take care of her.” He doesn’t say anything, so I keep going. “I’m sorry I didn’t take you seriously when you tried to tell me how you felt about her.”
“You wanted her out of the life,” he guesses. “Away from the MC.”
“I used to feel that would be the best thing for her.”