The house was quiet when Delaney arrived home that afternoon. Her brother left a note for her not to wait up, he had plans, which gave her some time to herself, not that she needed it but a little time to drink a glass of wine and cool down didn’t sound too bad.
Delaney opened the chicken wrap she’d grabbed from the corner store on the way home and poured herself a glass of red wine.
She curled her feet underneath her and turned on some rom-com she’d passed when channel surfing. By the middle of her glass she could feel it in her toes.
It’d been a while since she drank, with finals she used every free moment to study.
She hadn’t realized she’d fallen asleep, or how tired she had grew at the store. The girls were crazy busy, but a lot of fun to work with. Delaney didn’t even mind the work they had her doing. Seeing her work on the display shelf made her proud, and she’d missed that feeling.
The sound of a truck door slamming woke her from where she’d fallen asleep on the couch. Her empty cup of wine and plastic container sat on the table, and the huge clock above the mantel said ten thirty.
She stretched, getting up to clean her mess, and see who had made it home.Keys rattled at the front door, and mumbled voices came from the other side. It took almost two minutes for the door to open.
The guy Joey was dating came in first, and then a limping Patch beside him. All of his weight was on Gabriel, and he was wasted like she’d never seen before. His dark hair was matted and his skin ashen.
“Is he okay?” she asked, making Gabriel do a double take.
“Yeah, Mami, he’s alright, just a little tipsy.”
Delaney furrowed her brow and cocked her hip to the side. “A little, huh? Dude’s hammered.”
Patch groaned and suddenly snatched away from Gab to stumble to a standstill. If he hadn’t been drunk she would have lost her breath. His lips were puffy and his eyes hooded. She imagined he looked a lot like that when he was feeling frisky but maybe a little less intense.
A snarl curled at his mouth, and his eyes searched her wrinkled clothes she’d worn all day.
“Don't look at me like that, Delaney? You ready for me to handle that smart mouth of yours, huh?”
Delaney lost her speech looking at him leaned against the counter, dark eyes on her like the night before, but he was drunk. He wouldn’t be saying those types of things if he weren’t would, he? Patch stepped forward and laced his thick, rough fingers against the nape of her neck, her breath slipping from her and a rush of something white hot slithered against her skin.
His breath smelled like liquor with an after wash of mint that tickled her own tongue. “Look at that pretty mouth,” he whispered, hotly against her lips. The joints in her knees went weak and if he hadn’t been holding her she would have fallen to the tile floor.
In all the years she’d known him, he never came that close to her, his mouth so close to hers, or the harsh words that had fallen off his silky tongue, but she felt herself eating it all up.
Hooded eyes took in her parted mouth and then just like that he was jerked backward.
“Dude, you promised Lucas, you’re drunk and gonna get into some shit you can’t handle. Go to bed. Go take a cold shower, I don’t care.”
Gabriel pushed Patch’s shoulder, but Patch met her gaze again, and through the haze in his eyes, she saw that lust she’d seen for the past few nights.
Gab gave him another push, guiding him toward his room where she heard the door shut a few moments later. She turned her back, and covered her mouth with her palm. His touch had her skin on fire, drowning in heat that felt like a palatable option.
She desperately needed a shower because her panties were soaked from just that small moment. Shame hung over her, but the fire beneath it seemed worth any amount of disgrace she had for loving the way he felt.
Gabriel’s heavy footsteps stopped behind her, and she gathered her thoughts the best she could. He sighed and rubbed his palm over his jaw. “Dude is passed out,” he said. “I think he is down for the count.”
“Why was he drinking like that?” she asked. “He—from what I could remember he was never a big drinker because of his dad.”
Gabriel nodded. “It’s not my business to tell you, but he had a reason tonight. Lock the door,” he said bluntly. “My number is in his phone on his dresser if you need me.”
Gab left and she did what he asked and locked the door. Had Patch gotten into trouble? Was it his mom again? He hadn’t spoken about her but that didn’t mean much, because he wasn’t an open book to begin with.
Delaney walked upstairs to the shower and stripped out of her clothes. She’d imagined how pathetic she felt after just a simple touch. The rest of the summer would be hell if she didn’t get herself together soon.
The next morning she made her way downstairs early, knowing she didn’t have to go help until ten and only for a couple of hours. She made some coffee, hearing her brother’s snores from down the small hallway, at least she knew he made it back in one piece.
Delaney noticed that Patch’s door was closed, and she figured he had a hangover from hell. So she put a glass of water on the table and a bottle of ibuprofen.
After a cup of coffee and a nice twenty minutes outside on his back porch, she walked to the bathroom to get ready for work.
She blasted her Pandora app on her phone, listening to some 90s country music and took her shower. She shaved her legs, washed her hair and took her time getting dressed.
The counter in the spare bathroom was huge, so she crawled on top of it and started to do her makeup in the bright lighting.
In the middle of belting an Allan Jackson song, the door swung opened and she shrieked.
“Ever hear of knocking?” shocked to see Patch instead of her brother.
She let her eyes wonder in the mirror instead of turning to give him her attention though she wanted to. He had lost his shirt during the night, and his jeans hung against what looked like the perfect dip of his obliques. His chest and abs were like she expected a demi-god to look like. Lean and tanned, she couldn’t remember a time in her life where a man looked so good to her.
He cleared his throat, and she met his gaze in the mirror. “Thank you for the medicine,” he said in a gravelly voice.
“No problem,” Delaney said, fixing her blush in the mirror.
“Look at me,” he said harshly.
Delaney dropped her brush and turned to look at him, her legs hanging off the side of the counter. “Rude much? I am looking.”
Patch laughed and took another step inside. “Oh, I know you’re looking,” he said. “But I mean look at me, because I’m only going to say this once to you. What I did last night, I shouldn’t have done it. I was drunk and you were there.”
I was there. That sentence hit her gut and made her feel two inches tall, looking up at him from the counter like a little girl, the little girl he remembered,
She furrowed her brows and shrugged her shoulders. “Shouldn’t have done what?”
Patch let his tongue slither against his bottom lip and he took his lip ring into his mouth. “You know exactly what I’m talking about. And I saw that longing in your eyes when I did it—,”
“Then why did you do it?” she asked. “I didn’t make you.”
“I told you I was drunk—,”
“Then don’t put it on me,” she snapped.
Patch cleared his throat and shoved his hands into the pockets of his low-rise jeans. “You’re right, I did it, but what I’m saying is …don’t get used to it.”
He turned on his heel and walked out of the doorway, leaving Delaney sitting on the counter.
Delaney shut the oven door, and turned around to see Katie staring at her. “What?” she asked, tucking a piece of stray hair.
Katie shrugged her small shoulders and leaned against the counter, tapping her index finger in a steady rhythm.
“You seem to be lost today, what’s going on?”
“Nothing,” she said, leaning her hip against the counter. “I’m fine.”
Katie tilted her head like she examined her. “Does it have to do with Patch Larson coming into the shop yesterday and giving you come get me eyes?”
Delaney laughed, and shook her head. “That’s not what those are called, believe me. He—,” she stopped and Katie pointed a pink fingernail her way.
“He what? Spill. Do you have a thing for him, Laney? He's a bad, bad boy.”
Bad boy, indeed.
Delaney let out a long sigh. “He came home drunk with Gabriel last night, and I thought maybe, he wanted to kiss me, but then this morning he came in and shut that idea down. Gabriel kept saying you promised Lucas or something.”
Katie lifted both eyebrows. “He promised Lucas he wouldn’t what? Come onto you? I think it’s a little late for that, I swear he was giving you eyes yesterday. And a kiss? I think he is having trouble keeping his promise to Lucas if you ask me.”
Delaney briefly let that thought wonder, but after the morning, she felt humiliated and stupid. “An almost kiss,” she said. “And that’s not what he said. He said not to get used to it.”
Katie stood up and shrugged. “Well, I guess we will see.”
“Or not,” Delaney said.
The bell dinged from the front and Delaney had just enough time to hide before she made eye contact with her step-mother. Katie looked down at her for a moment, but took her death glare to heart.
“Mrs. Summers,” Katie said. “How ya doing today?”
Delaney heard her winey laugh and rolled her eyes. She could imagine her flipping her blonde hair and doing that shoulder shrug smile she did. “I’m good. Here to pick up those pies for my boys.”
Her boys? Lucas and Patch? Delaney held in her laugh when she realized those treats the boys talked about weren’t from her but from the shop.
“Yes ma’am. Sweet Potato and Butter Pecan. I’ve got them right here.”
“These are just the best things ever, they love them. I’ll be back next week for another round. Maybe peanut butter balls this time?”
“Sure thing, I’ll put it on my calendar,” Katie said.
“Thanks, love, see you then.”
Delaney stayed hidden until the bell on the door dinged. “What the heck was that?” Katie asked, helping her up.
She dusted off her apron and jeans. “Well, my parents don’t know I’m back. I’m kind of hiding out at Lucas’ until I figure out what I’m doing with my life.”
Katie shook her head and placed her hands on her tiny hips. “Sweetie, you’re a grown up, you can do what you want. At least you have a degree.”
Delaney sighed. “I don’t want to hear their mouths about it. In due time, I will.”
Katie tossed her an oven mit and laughed. “Yeah, she comes in every week, I’m sure she is gonna see you eventually. You better work on that cloak of invisibly.”
Delaney pulled out a batch of Keto-friendly cookies.
“Why don’t you like Beth? She seems like such a nice woman.”
Delaney shrugged. “She tries too hard.”
Katie gave her a narrowed look. “That’s all you got?”
“She takes the credit for those pies she brings over to my brother’s house too.”
“Wench,” Katie said.
They howled with laughter.
Patch shut the hood of the woman’s convertible and watched as the twins relentlessly flirted with her in the lobby. She seemed vaguely familiar from high-school, but he knew one thing for certain, she hadn’t ran with their crowd. It was evident by her perfectly straightened hair and the nice whip he’d just changed the oil for, not to mention the clothes he would have never even dreamed of having growing up. If she did ever consider dating or sleeping with one of them it would be done in secret. It was the socs and the greasers all over again. Snake raked his fingers through his dark black hair, and gave the girl a sheepish smile. “I’m free any night for you, Princess.” The girl liked the attention, it was apparent, but Patch could see the worry in her eyes. What would her parents think about her dating someone like Snake, or even someone that went by name of Snake? “Your car is ready,” Patch said. She stood up from her chair
The night air was thick with humidity from being in Texas, but the fun of the party distracted her from her drenched dress. Her brother obviously knew how to throw a party, as a badly as she didn’t want to like it, she had a good time. People began to crash and leave around two, so she took a chance to walk back up to her room. She’d shower in the morning before work, and wash her sheets sometime before the weekend was over with. Running her fingers into her hair, she walked into her room and sat on the corner of the bed. Her shoes were gone, she hadn’t remembered where she’d left them, and those wine coolers had fogged her brain faster than they used to. She blamed it on college, because she wasn’t a partier in then, she was there to graduate. An occasional wine glass at dinner, but definitely not a drunkard. Delaney began to unzip her dress when her door opened, and she shrieked trying to hide herself. At first she thought it was some drunk person trying to find a place to sl
Patch revved his engine and sped down the small road that would lead him to town. He’d been in shock to see her standing there on his mother’s back porch. Her Fat Bottomed Chicks T-shirt neatly tucked into a pair of expensive jeans, looking more out of place than anything else.The look of fear on her face made him angry, and the slew of curses his mother tossed her way, not even realizing who Delaney was or why she was there.Patch groaned and shook his head slightly. He never imagined staying away from Lucas’ sister would prove this difficult. He wanted nothing more than to go get a shower and sleep off his bad day. He’d dropped his mother off at the rehab center being she passed out on the couch, and it would buy him a few days before he had to worry about her getting out.Those short two days that she would make it in drug rehab were the best days of his life because he didn’t have to worry about her.&nbs
So much had happened that it was hard for her to believe. She’d woken up the next morning with Patch’s scent on her brain, an overload of skin on skin action and the image of his naked mom.Not to mention the fire. Someone call Smoky Bear because Delaney is on a roll. What’s next? The forest, you say?Delaney sat at the dining room table, eating one of the donuts she’d gone out of her way to get that morning, and stared at the front page of their little paper.“What a show I am,” she whispered to herself between another bite.A door behind her closed and she turned to see Patch coming out of the house with his work clothes on. He had a James Dean, Soda Pop kind of look and it fit him well.There was that hard edge about him but something about that slow talk and gentle heart that made her want to know more.He’d been clear, but oh how his face betrayed
Patch was daydreaming at the garage when Daz called an emergency meeting. Jimmy put the closed sign on the garage door, and turned to look at Patch. His long dark hair was pulled back into a man bun, and unlike his twin, he was more serious about the club than Snake. “You ready to do this? I wonder what it’s about?” Patch lit a cigarette and followed him out the back and toward the clubhouse. Once they got near the doors he could hear the rumble inside. All the group sat at the long table Daz put in for meetings, and most of them looked mad as hell. “Finally,” Lonny hollered from the corner chair. Patch ignored the old man and took a seat by Twello who looked at him with a worried stare. “What happened?” he whispered to him. “Lonny and Daz’s bikes were tampered with at the bar last night. Someone beat the hell out of them. We’re guessing The South Side,” he said. Patch knew it wouldn’t be long before a rival started between the two of them, especially since he’d threatened
Delaney stared out of her balcony window at her brother pulling into the driveway. She’d been waiting to talk to him since she felt like a moocher lately, and that wasn’t her style.She bounded down the stairs, meeting him at the door with a muffin that she’d baked him. He looked at it and slowly took it to take a bite. “What is this for?”She hovered as he closed the door and kicked off his shoes. “Just because I feel like an asshole mooching off of you.”Lucas rolled his eyes. “It’s fine.”“It’s not. I hate not having anything to do and no income coming in. Katie swears she isn’t mad but I feel like a sore thumb here. Maybe I should go back—,”“To your loser boyfriend? No,” Lucas said.“No,” she said, shaking her head. “Look at this,” she said, digging her cell from her jeans pocket. She pulled
The beaming sun hit Patch’s skin from the opened bay doors of the garage. He slowly wiped his forehead with the back of his oiled stained hand and watched as the cars passed by on the highway out of town. It had been a treacherous two days since he’d broken his promise to his best-friend and kissed his kid sister’s mouth. He’d be a liar if he said it hadn’t been worth it though. She’d tasted better than he ever imagined a woman tasting, sweet like candy, greedy with her hands and tongue. Delaney Summers had been worth the risk like he imagined the moment he saw her asleep on Lucas’ couch. The only problem was that there were too many to count. Besides betraying his best-friend that he hoped would show him mercy once the truth came out, there was the problem of his loyalty to his brother’s and the crap Daz stirred up with The South Side. The silence after they stole all of their weapons worried Patch, because there was always s
Delaney stripped out of her wet panties and tossed them into the laundry bin by her door. She’d never felt so alive like she did with Patch. Was it crazy that she wanted to jump into bed with him this soon? She’d always prided herself on being someone that was rational when it came to giving away her nookie. But this was a completely different universe. It was Disney Channel hot verses Marvel Hot. Delaney walked over to her bathroom and stared at herself in the mirror. She looked different, reddened cheeks with a rush of adrenaline in her that she’d never felt before. “Get it together,” she whispered before starting her shower. Even though Patch had said to hell with his promise to Lucas, she felt adrenaline in the fact she snuck around with him. The rush of lust that surged her compared closely to the time her dad took her bungee jumping on Spring Break. Patch was going to rock her in ways that Bradley never could. Just his kiss alone had her on another planet. She though