She's wild, carefree and sassy...
His total opposite.
She drives him crazy...
And yet, she's the only woman he wants.
You may be aware that I'm writing a story titled Roxie. If not, this is a story I'm writing for my newsletter subscribers. I've had this story idea in my head for awhile now but I'm only getting around to writing it now - writing it each week and sending the chapters out as I go. It's an interesting process for me because generally when I write a book, I get to a certain point and pull everything I've already written apart and start again. So, I'm not sure where this will all end up but hey, it's fun as we go along, right?!
I'm posting the first chapter here for anyone who missed it last week. If you'd like to receive the chapters in your inbox each week, sign up here.
Please remember that this story is unedited. Once I've finished writing it, I will be editing it and publishing it so you will get to read the final product then if you want to.
The Storm MC boys feature in this story!
He breathed out a long, frustrated breath. “Trust me babe, I’m listening; I’m just not fucking liking what I’m hearing.”
Was this guy for real? “Yeah well it’s my life, my decision, and I say no.” I dug my heels in.
He shook his head, pulled out his phone and made a call. I waited, resolute that I wouldn’t budge on this. Not taking his eyes off me, he spoke into the phone, “Madison, your girl here doesn’t want our help. I’ve got better shit to do than to stand here arguing with her so I’ll give you five minutes with her and then I’m outta here.” Without waiting for Madison to reply, he handed the phone to me.
I raised my eyebrows at him and then said to Madison, “How the hell do you live with him?” He didn’t even flinch at that; I bet he knew what an asshole he could be, but just didn’t care.
“Roxie, I’ll share that secret with you another day but for now just listen to me. Your hairdressing salon has been broken into three times in the last three weeks, you and the cops have no clue who’s doing it and you could really do with the help that J’s offering you. I know you prefer to do things your way and I know you can be a stubborn bitch, but don’t do that this time. Accept help for once in your life.”
“I’m fine on my own, really I am,” I promised her. The last thing I wanted was for a bossy man like J telling me what to do in my own business. No, I’d sort this shit out on my own.
She sighed. “I do love you, but you’re hard work. You know that, right?”
“You wouldn’t be the first person to tell me that,” I muttered, and handed the phone back to J. He wasn’t the only one who had better things to do than to keep going over this.
He was silent while Madison said something to him. A pained look crossed his face and then he said, “Fine, I’ll see you at home tonight and we’ll talk about this then.” He ended the call and shoved his phone back in his pocket.
“Good, that’s sorted,” I said, my hands on my hips, waiting for him to leave.
His angry glare didn’t leave my face and he replied, “If you think that’s Madison done, you don’t know her very well. As far as I’m concerned we’re done, but when my wife gets an idea in her head she doesn’t let it go till she has her way. And unfortunately for me, and you too, if she doesn’t end up getting what she wants, she has ways of making me come to the party, so I doubt this is the fucking end of it, babe.”
“Trust me when I say that I’m not a pushover either, J. I won’t be pushed into something I don’t want,” I assured him.
“Well it looks like we’re in for fun, fucking times then, doesn’t it,” he grumbled as he strode out the front door. He left without a backwards glance and I slammed the door behind him. Men!
I turned at the sound of my name. Bobby, one of my hairdressers, was motioning for me to come over to the front counter. I lifted a finger in the air to indicate I’d be with him in one minute. Shifting my attention back to my client, I decided not to rush. Bobby could be the biggest drama queen sometimes. I loved him to death but boy, he did my head in some days.
“Roxie, if you don’t get that padded ass over here right this minute -”
I whipped my head around and glared at him. “Did you just say that my ass is padded?”
He fixed a smile on his face and nodded. “Yes doll, that’s exactly what I said. Now get over here so I can show you something.”
I stalked over to where he was, ready to punch him. He knew me well though, and raised his hands in a defensive gesture.
“I work this ass hard and you fucking know that -” I began to say before he cut me off.
“Settle petal, I didn’t mean it. I just needed to get your bloody attention.” He pointed outside. “Look at that beautiful specimen of man meat.” He ended his statement on a sigh and I turned my gaze in the direction he’d pointed.
“Holy shit,” I murmured; he was right. Walking towards us was a tall, well built guy who was covered in tats; he looked like sex on legs.
“Oh good Lord in man heaven, I think he’s coming in here!” Bobby exclaimed. He narrowed his eyes on me. “He’s mine sweet cheeks, and don’t you fucking argue. You got to talk to that sinfully sexy biker dude this morning so it’s only fair that this one is for me.”
I rolled my eyes. “That biker dude from this morning might look hot, but he’s an asshole. If he ever comes back in here, he’s all yours.”
“Thanks, but first I’m having this one.” He shoved me out of the way as he fell over himself to get to the guy the moment he pushed through the door. “Why hello, gorgeous. To what do we owe the pleasure?” His voice practically purred the words and I stifled a laugh. I realised now that I’d actually met this man before; at Madison’s wedding a few weeks ago. I couldn’t remember his name though.
The guy flashed Bobby a huge smile and then blessed me with one as well. He reached out to shake Bobby’s hand and said, “Hi, man.”
Bobby just about melted on the spot. Goodness, this was too funny. The guy was obviously not gay but Bobby was so over the top confident that he always thought he had a shot with every man he met. “Lovely to meet you. I’m Bobby, and your name is?”
“Nash,” he answered, and then looked at me, “And you must be Roxie.”
That’s right; Nash. “Yes, I’m Roxie. Let me guess, Madison sent you?”
His chuckle filtered through the room drawing my clients’ attention, and they ogled him and all his gorgeous muscles. “Pretty obvious, huh?”
“Yeah, and the answer is still no.”
“Sweet thing, it should be a no brainer for you. You’ve got a problem that we can help you with. You obviously need some help figuring out who keeps breaking in and that kind of work is my specialty.”
I sighed. “You guys just don’t get it. I don’t want any help with this; I’m quite capable of handling my own shit.”
He considered that for a moment. “Why are you resisting this? You and Madison have become good friends over the past few months; she just wants to help out a friend. There’s no hidden agenda here, babe.”
“I know. But let’s just say that I have my reasons, and leave it at that.”
Bobby decided to wade into the conversation at that point. “I vote we let Nash help you on this one, sweetie.”
I scowled at him. “Shut it, Bobby. You just want an excuse to perv on Nash.”
“You know me too well. Please tell him yes,” he pleaded.
Nash chuckled and jerked his thumb at Bobby. “You should listen to your friend here.”
“You’re not hearing me. I’ve said no and that’s the end of it. And please tell Madison not to send anymore men.” I considered that for a moment. “No, scratch that, I’ll tell her myself.”
The smile that had touched Nash’s lips a moment ago gave way to a perplexed look. “I swear to God, I will never figure women out. One minute you’re screaming for our attention when you feel you’re not getting it and then when we fuckin’ offer it, you slam the door in our face.”
I shrugged. “What can I say? We’re a law unto ourselves. Plus we’ve gotta keep you men guessing; shit gets boring otherwise.”
He shook his head. “Some days I’d just like shit to be boring, babe.”
“Yeah well today’s not your lucky day, hot stuff.”
“You send me away, it might be your last chance at Storm helping you. You good with that?”
“I’m more than good with that.”
He assessed me for a moment longer before saying, “Okay, we’re done here.” And with that, he turned and sauntered out, leaving Bobby open mouthed and stunned. He sent me a foul look. “Why the hell didn’t you say yes?”
“Bobby, the last thing we need is those bossy bikers in our business. Like I said, I’ve got my reasons and for the moment it’s best not to involve them.”
“And what if you decide in the future that you do want them, what then? I don’t think they’ll be back; your chance is gone.”
I had to smile at his naivety. I cocked my head to the side and asked, “Do you really think that if I begged Madison for help later on that she wouldn’t be able to convince her husband to step in and help?”
Understanding dawned on his face. “I see your point.”
“Right, so can we please get back to work now? I’ve got a date with a bar stool in about an hour and I don’t want to be late.”
“Tired and grumpy.”
Her laugh tinkled softly through the phone. “You’re always tired and grumpy in the morning, Roxie.”
“Yeah, well who the hell wants to be out of bed so bloody early? Not me, babe.”
“Maybe you should have gone into a different line of work; something you could do at night.”
“Perhaps I should ask your brother for a job at the strip club,” I muttered. It was way too early to be engaging in conversation.
“Oh God no. You’d suck at that.”
“Are you saying I couldn’t shake my thing as well as the other chicks he’s got working there?”
Laughing again, she said, “I’ve seen you shake your thing and you could definitely keep up with those girls. No, what I meant was that you wouldn’t put up with the dirty men and the way they stare and try to touch. You’d be trying to punch them; you’d be bad for business, hon.”
I yawned and scrubbed my hand over my face. She was right; there was no way I’d put up with men pulling that shit on me. Hell, I couldn’t even understand how Harlow worked the bar in that joint. “You’ve got a point,” I agreed before asking, “Why are you calling me so early?”
“I’m just checking in with you to see if you’ve changed your mind on Nash helping you work out who keeps breaking in and trashing your shop. Plus I need to reschedule my appointment.”
“I haven’t changed my mind and as for your appointment, I’m not at the shop yet so can you just text me what you want to change it to and I’ll sort that out once I get there.”
“Bloody hell, woman. Why do you have to be so damn stubborn?”
I was just about to answer her when I rounded the corner to my shop and discovered to my extreme anger that someone had smashed my window yet again.
“Motherfucker,” I snapped. “Sorry Madison, I’ve gotta go,” I said and ended the call. I took in the mess before me. Broken glass every-fucking- where and graffiti on the one window they hadn’t smashed.
Shit. That didn’t quite fit with the message he’d left me the other day and now I was left wondering if my theory was right.
“Mean something to you?” a deep voice rumbled from behind me and I jumped in shock. I’d thought I was alone.
I spun to face whoever was there and sucked in a breath at the sight in front of me. He was tall. He had muscles trying to shove their way out of the fitted black tee he’d covered them with. His hair was black, thick and slightly wavy so that it fell across his eyes. And good, fucking gracious, the scruff on his face just about made my legs collapse under me.
“Who are you?” I breathed out.
He whipped his sunglasses off to reveal an intense set of green eyes. Without answering me, he pulled his phone out of his jeans and strode over to the window with the graffiti, and took a photo. He then returned to where I was and began taking photos of the rest of the mess.
I grabbed for his arm and hit rock hard muscle on his bicep. “I asked you a question,” I said, annoyed at being ignored.
He stopped taking photos and focused those gorgeous eyes on me. There was a flicker of something there; I wasn’t sure what though. It was like an untamed energy; something definitely swirled beneath the surface of this man and it unsettled me while at the same time unleashed butterflies in the pit of my stomach. And damn, for the first time in a very long time, I was unsure of myself.
“I’m Liam,” he stated as if that answered any and all questions I might have.
I raised my eyebrows. “Care to elaborate?”
His eyes shifted between mine, and it appeared that he was carefully scrutinising everything in front of him; the shop, the mess and me. Most definitely me. And it unnerved me even more than he already had. Eventually, he spoke, “Zane sent me to help you with your security issues.”
I threw my hands up in the air. “And who the hell is Zane?”
His phone rang at that moment. “Yeah,” he answered it. He listened to whatever the person on the other end said and then he replied, “I’ve got Roxie in front of me and they’ve smashed her windows again. I’m just about to take a look inside.” He listened some more and then said, “Later, man.” His phone was shoved back in his jeans and then he stepped around me and entered my shop through the broken window.
I swivelled around to see what he was doing. My patience was wearing thin; who the hell did he think he was just waltzing in like this without giving me any answers as to who he was? Stepping through the window, I followed him and repeated my question, “Who is Zane?”
He didn’t answer; instead he turned his head to look at me, gestured at the inside of the shop and instructed, “Don’t touch anything before I take some more photos of the inside.” He then turned back around and kept walking.
“For the love of God, tell me who the hell Zane is!” I yelled, having reached the end of my tether.
He came to a halt and laid his gaze on me again. His energy rippled through the air and filled the room. It hit me hard and caused that fluttery sensation in my stomach again. Damn. That was the last thing I wanted to feel for this exasperating man.
“Zane is my boss. He runs Stone Security and we were called in on this job by Scott Cole. Any other questions you have while we’re at it?”
“Those bloody bikers,” I muttered under my breath.
He stood still, assessing me and waiting to see if I had anything else to say. When I didn’t say anything else, he continued, “We’re good to go?”
Oh hell no, we were so far from good to go it wasn’t funny. “No, we’re not. I never asked for you to be given this job so you can just leave now before we go any further.” I crossed my arms in front of me and waited for him to go.
He quirked a brow at me. “So you’re going to just keep letting this shit happen then? This is what, your fourth break in this month? Seems to me that you could do with the help, sweetheart.”
There was that damn energy of his again, radiating out from him. It was confusing my senses and I couldn’t think straight.
Before I could say anything he spoke again, “I hate to break it to you but this doesn’t look like a random break in to me. Given that it keeps happening and that they aren’t stealing anything. And that graffiti? That’s the first time they’ve done that, isn’t it?”
I hesitated for a moment. I really didn’t want to admit my suspicions to him. “Yes, that’s the first time they’ve graffitied the building.”
He nodded. “Right, so this is escalating and I’m taking over the investigation. No ifs or buts because this shit can quickly turn nasty from here on out.”