Wicked Whiskey LoveBy: Melissa Foster
THE RUMBLE AND roar of the Dark Knights Motorcycle Club cut through the cheering crowd as they led Peaceful Harbor’s Halloween parade down Main Street. Even in costumes the Dark Knights were an intimidating bunch, but Sarah Beckley wasn’t afraid. Two months ago Bullet Whiskey, a Dark Knight, had rescued Sarah and her family after they’d been in a horrendous accident. In the months since, the Dark Knights had come out in droves to assist them. They’d pulled together a fundraising rally to help pay for their medical bills, helped her find a job and babysitting for her two children, and drove her brother, Scott, to physical therapy when she was unable. Sarah didn’t know much about bikers’ lifestyles, but she’d learned a few things lately. Their families went well beyond bloodlines and birthrights, extending to claiming and protecting the friends and families of each and every member of the Dark Knights. To be included in such a group was an honor.
Sarah glanced ahead at her three-year-old son, Bradley, riding in a sidecar attached to Bones Whiskey’s motorcycle. She couldn’t see Bradley’s face, but she knew her sandy-haired warrior was grinning from ear to ear as he waved at the people on the sidewalks. He had been excited about the parade, but the prospect of riding with Bones had left him too elated to sleep for the past two nights. Her gaze shifted to Bones, the all-too-hot physician/biker, and her heart raced. He had taken to her children like an adoring uncle and to her like a hungry, protective man, as if she were his to protect, rendering her not only sleepless, but hot and bothered, for weeks.
Not in a million years had she imagined sitting on a float waving to a community of people who treated her and her children as one of their own, much less catching the eye of someone like Bones. But here she was, sitting atop a giant cupcake-shaped chair Bones had insisted he and his overprotective clan of biker brothers build for her, surrounded by a gaggle of new friends who had embraced her family and brought them into the fold of the close-knit community. Not for the first time since moving to Peaceful Harbor, Sarah took stock of her life, thanking the powers that be for her good fortune—powers that until now she had been sure were evil.
How had she gone from homeless to happy?
If all these people knew the truth about her background, would they still be as accepting? Or would they hide their husbands and children, treating her as the pariah she’d often felt like?
As the float rolled to a stop, Dixie Whiskey, Bones’s sister, tossed her red hair over her tattooed shoulder, straightened the seashell bikini top of her mermaid costume, then shimmied to adjust her shiny green sequined skirt. Ever the biker, she’d paired the outfit with chunky black leather boots. “Finally! If I have to smile for one more second, I’m going to scream.”
“I loved every second,” Sarah said honestly. She knew what it felt like to be alone, hungry, and scared, and she treasured every second that she wasn’t. Bathing in the warmth of good feelings, she gazed down at her eleven-month-old daughter, Lila, looking precious in her red onesie with THING 1 printed on the front. Her little hand rested on Sarah’s burgeoning baby bump, which proudly displayed THING 2. At five and a half months pregnant, Sarah felt good, and maybe more important, for the first time in her life she was truly, deeply happy.
Therein lay the problem.
Every time Sarah had dropped her guard, her world came crashing down around her. She knew better than to let the comfort of these warm, welcoming friends sway her into believing she was on solid ground.
Sarah glanced at Bones as he climbed off his motorcycle. Denim strained over his powerful thighs. He whipped off his helmet, and his sexy dark eyes sailed over the sea of heads separating them, landing on her with the heat of a volcano. His lips curled up into a panty-melting smile that made her forget she was a pregnant mother of two and caused her to think about all the dirty things she’d like him to do with that beautiful mouth. Because of her history with men, his attention was as disturbing as it was comforting. She constantly battled the urge to dig deeper into his comfort versus hiding her and her children away from the rest of the world just in case…