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I’m Only Here for the Beard (The Dixie Wardens Rejects MC #4)
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Sean is a man with needs—needs that a lot of women were ready and willing to fulfill. Yet, the only woman that he wants to fulfill them dumped him for another man. A man who’s a member of his MC and is someone he has to see every single day and twice on Sundays.
He’s bitter and angry. He’s definitely not in the right frame of mind when it comes to dealing with women. Which is unfortunate for his new partner, Naomi, a fresh-out-of-school and totally green paramedic.
Naomi’s got enough problems on her plate. A brother who’s self-destructive and doesn’t care who he takes down with him. A man who she’s in love with but who doesn’t love her. A job that she hates because it is a constant reminder of what she can’t have.
Desperate to distance herself from her problems, she runs, taking the first job in her field that she finds willing to take on someone with so little experience.
The last thing she needs is a perpetually pissed off partner, especially when he sets her blood on fire.
But life doesn’t ask how much you can handle when it dishes out challenges. It just keeps piling them on until you’ve bested them or you’ve buckled under them.
Sean really doesn’t want to like his new partner, Naomi. He just wants to be left alone to live his life however he damn well pleases and without complications.
Naomi doesn’t care what he wants, she can’t be anything but herself. It isn’t long before she’s breaking down his walls and making him feel again. She’s trying to pull him closer and he’s pushing her away.
It’s not long before Sean sees the error of his ways.
It’s too bad, though, that by the time he realizes she’s the one, Naomi’s already gone.
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Roses are red, violets are blue. Blah blah blah. I don’t like you.
-Naomi’s secret thoughts
“Please talk to me.”
I looked over at my brother, then shrugged.
My brother. The man who I once called one of my best friends had ruined my life.
He was in a bad place. I knew that. My mom and my current best friend, Aspen knew that. Hell, my dad even knew that and he wasn’t even talking to me.
But did that excuse him for driving drunk? No.
“I’m not mad at you, Danny,” I lied. “I’m just tired.”
And I was. Tired. Very, very tired.
Though, I couldn’t decide if that was due to the fact that I’d just clawed my way out from the haze of anesthesia or because I was just plain tired.
“Danny,” my friend, Aspen, stated, “I think you need to give her some space. She’s tired. She’s confused, and honestly, she likely doesn’t really want to talk to you right now.”
What my best friend didn’t say, however, was that he should feel guilty. I should be mad at him.
He’d hit me with his goddamned car!
And I wasn’t even going to go into the fact that he’d done it in his police cruiser, of all things. I still hadn’t figured out why the hell he’d been in the cruiser in the first place since it happened in the middle of the night.
Though, the same could be said about me. Why had I been out in the middle of the night, walking down the road where the house that I was renting was located?
Why? Because I was a fucking loser. My life sucked. Every man I met either cheated on me or found another woman to be with who they liked more than me. I was always the consolation prize. The rebound fling. The woman who men felt sorry for and had pity sex with.
Yeah, I was that girl.
So, fuck yeah, I was out in the middle of the night walking my street. Why? Because I couldn’t fucking sleep. All of my insecurities had come out to play last night, and I’d stupidly gotten up, put on my running shoes and started walking.
The only problem with that? I’d gotten hit by my brother in his police cruiser when he was supposed to be at home.
I couldn’t remember anything after actually seeing the car coming at me. Which was a good thing and a bad thing, I guess.
I couldn’t remember the look on my brother’s face when he realized he’d hit his sister.
I could, however, see it now, and it was heartbreaking.
He’d sank to rock bottom, though it was his fault.
Once upon a time, Aspen and Danny had been together. But my brother, being the idiot that he was, had cheated on her with his partner. The same partner who’d broken up with him a week ago by doing the same thing to him that he had done to Aspen.
So he’d started drinking to forget the fact that he thought his life was ruined.
Now, it really was.
He’d been suspended from the police department and was facing criminal charges. Not to mention that he would forever have to live with the knowledge that he drove drunk and ran over his sister with his police cruiser.
“Okay,” Danny murmured. “If you need anything, call me.”
With that my brother left, but I doubted he went much further than the waiting room. He’d been at the hospital since the accident had happened.
“Did you want to see it?”
I shook my head at Aspen. “No, I most certainly do not want to see it.”
The ‘it’ she was referring to was my colostomy bag.
When my brother had hit me, I’d suffered damage to my intestines, liver and one kidney.
The liver and kidney were expected to make full recoveries.
My intestines, however, were going to require more time to heal, hence the latest addition to my wardrobe: a colostomy bag.
I could feel it.
It felt utterly foreign, like something was duct taped to my belly and just sitting there, waiting for me to take it off.
But I couldn’t. At least not for another four to six months, according to my doctor, while my intestines had a chance to heal from the trauma I’d endured.
I’d have to be changing poop bags for six whole months.
Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any worse, this was thrown at me.
Thank you, Danny, the life ruiner.
“It’s not that bad,” Aspen started to say.
I held up my hand. “Save it.”
“The doctor said you could go back to work in six weeks,” Aspen continued as if I hadn’t just told her to shut up. “And Kilgore Fire would love to have you back. They’re missing you already.”
I was sure they were, but that was only because I took all the shifts that opened up or filled in whenever they needed someone. Now, they had to find someone else willing to pick up the shit shifts or come in at a moment’s notice.