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Mean Machine (The Untouchables MC #1)
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I swore off women years ago. I’m better off alone. Until the gorgeous single mom walks into my bar and changes everything.
Mean Machine is the first novel in the new spinoff series The Untouchables! Read closely–some of your favorite characters from Cuffed and other books might make cameos!
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“Boss? You slinging hash again today?”
I glared at Shorty. Up at him, actually. Even though I was well over six feet tall, Shorty was even taller.
I’d mentioned once that his name was ironic and he’d just looked at me with a blank expression. The man had no sense of humor, but he was a great short order cook.
I even trusted him to watch over my chili, though he didn’t know the ingredients for the spicy secret sauce that we put on just about everything.
Yeah, we kept things spicy at my place, the good old Mason Jar.
He gave me a toothy grin, complete with the wooden toothpick he seemed to always have in his mouth.
“Another one quit on you, or what?”
I gave him a dirty look. I knew what was coming. I didn’t want to hear it.
“She fell in love with you, huh?” He chuckled. “They all do.”
“No, she didn’t. And before you ask, I never laid a hand on her.”
“Oh, I know. That’s why they all fall in love with you, Boss.”
“Face it, Boss. You might live like a monk, but you do something crazy to the ladies. We haven’t had a waitress stick around longer than six months since Casey.”
“It’s Cassie now.”
He nodded, unperturbed. Cassandra was my kid, more or less. I’d found her on the street in the middle of a thunderstorm, so thin and lost that she’d broken my heart. I’d convinced her I wasn’t a creep and she’d come in out of the rain.
One taste of my famous chili and she’d been hooked.
The kid had nowhere to go. No family. She’d been in the foster system. I’d made sure she got her GED and had a roof over her head.
She was a good kid. I loved her like a daughter, even though I was only fourteen years older than her. And now, not even a decade later, she had her own kid.
Life was funny sometimes.
Shorty was staring at me expectantly.
“Order’s up, Boss.”
I nodded and took the plates. They were hot and I hissed as they burned my fingers, adjusting my grip.
“It’s too bad. Suze was a good waitress.”
I glared at him and walked back into the bar to distribute the chow. But his words stuck with me. So did the tearful scene from the night before.
That was the worst thing about it. He was right. He was right about all of it. She had been a good waitress other than her inconvenient crush. She’d thrown herself at me for months. I’d ignored her, as I always did. I wasn’t even tempted for a nanosecond.
But she’d cornered me late at night and I’d been forced to tell her the truth. I wasn’t interested in her and no amount of dolling herself up and bending over in front of me was going to change that.
And then things got really crazy.
She’d admitted that she loved me. That’s when the tears started. I’d told her I was sorry to hear that and I meant it. It wasn’t personal. She was a nice enough girl, though not my type.
Not even back when I actually had a type.
I hadn’t been with a woman in a long time and I meant to keep it that way. Women were nothing but trouble for a guy like me. I couldn’t risk it.
After the first few years it hadn’t been so bad. I didn’t even get the itch. But try explaining that to a crying waitress. I got nowhere.
So she’d quit. And now I was running this place and waiting tables.
I should hire some male servers. That was the ticket.
I glanced at the clock and groaned.
The animals would be getting antsy. Usually I ran home around this time to feed them and walk the dog. My two cats even appreciated the visits, and not just for the food. They liked the extra head scratches they got. In fact, they demanded them.
Morey had pissed in my boots one time when I couldn’t get back.
I pulled out my phone and texted Connor. The bastard owed me. He’d corrupted my innocent little Cassie, all the way back before she’d told us her real name.
Now he was the daddy to my goddaughter. He was family. And dammit, he was going to have to walk the dog.
“No thank you, ma’am.”
I turned away, finding something else to do that didn’t put me right in front of the cougar making eyes at me. She’d made me an indecent proposal when I delivered her drink. It wasn’t the first time, either.
I was behind the bar, forcing Jaken to wait tables. He’d been my bartender for years and was a damn good one. But I was the boss and I was tired of running around like a chicken without it’s head.
So I pulled rank.
It was much more relaxing behind the bar. But there was just one problem. The women.