Five years. That’s a long time to go without talking to somebody, especially someone who was such a huge part of your life…
A letter from my first kiss and my childhood everything…from prison.
He may be nicknamed Saint, but this sweet, sexy biker most definitely has a wild streak. Hearing from him draws me right back into the Knights of Fury motorcycle club—the people I’ll always think of as family.
He’s still the only man I’ve ever wanted.
Each good, old-fashioned letter from my “prison pen pal” has my heart racing. Which is nothing compared to how I feel when Saint surprises me in person, as a free man.
I was just a kid the last time we saw each other, but the connection between us now is anything but innocent.
He’s the type of man who would do anything to protect his woman. And with my world crashing down around me, that’s exactly what I’m going to need.
This book is approximately 67,000 words
Please note: This book is part of the Knights of Fury MC series but can be read as a stand-alone.
One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!
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"What's wrong, Sky?" my dad asks as I step into the clubhouse with a sad face, my pink backpack dragging behind me. My body language screams defeat, and even I know it. "Bad day at school?"
I nod at my father. Technically, he's my stepfather, but considering I never knew my biological father, Hammer's the only father I've ever known. He started dating my mom when I was just a baby. My mother has never told me about who my real dad is, and I've always wanted to know. Especially since she's so secretive about it. I don't care too much, though. I have Hammer.
"I guess you could say that."
I've been finding it hard to make friends. No one wants to play with me because they know my stepdad is in a motorcycle gang. I'm not sure why they all hate bikers. I know and love every person in this clubhouse, and they are always nice to me. I don't live in the clubhouse, but we come here pretty much every day after school. Hammer plays basketball with me and my siblings, and is always there for me no matter what. Does it matter that he chooses to ride a motorcycle instead of driving a car, or a van, like most of the other parents? Not to me, but apparently it does to them.
"Tell me what happened," he murmurs in a calm tone, but I know Dad gets mad at anyone who upsets me. I'm the youngest of six, and everyone loves to baby me. I'm also the only girl. Yeah, I feel sorry for myself too.
I sit next to him on the weathered brown leather couch. Before I can say anything, my mother speaks for me. "She got into a fight and is now suspended from school." She looks at me in frustration. "I told you that you need to stay out of trouble, Sky."
I grit my teeth in anger. Anger that she doesn't understand what it is like for me. Anger that she's talking for me. Mom lectured me on the whole drive back here, and now she's going to get Dad on her side before I can even get a word in. "But —"
"Fighting isn't the answer," she continues, shaking her head in disappointment. "I know you've been raised with boys, but you're a lady, and ladies don't fight."
"Didn't you slap that woman at the cookout last month, Georgia?" Dad asks with a smirk, brown eyes alive with mischief. He runs his fingers down his dark beard and nods. "Pretty sure you did. In front of the whole club."
"I saw that," I add, lifting my chin.
My mother scowls, sending a death stare in my direction. "What have I told you? Do as I say, not as I do."
"Becky deserved it, Mom," I say, trying to explain, and wanting my dad to understand. "She said her daddy is dead and it's our fault. He was a policeman. How would that be our fault? So I called her a liar and hit her. She shouldn't be talking bad about my family."
Dad and Mom share a look, one I can't figure out.
My mom has always told me "Do as I say, not as I do," but I can't help it if I'm the way that I am. I want to protect myself and my family.
Dad gives me a big hug. I close my eyes and sink into him, knowing that I'm safe in his arms. "You're not in trouble, Sky," he assures me gently. "But you shouldn't get into any more fights, okay? You're at school to get an education, not to get into trouble."
"I know," I grumble. "I'll try not get into any more fights."
"Promise?" he asks, pulling away and offering me his pinky finger. "We know you are going to do great things with your life. Things far away from here. But to do that, you need to be good in school, and to keep your grades up."
I wrap my pinky around his and squeeze. "I promise. I'll be good."
Funny that I'd make that promise to him, but not to my mother.CHAPTER 2
"What are you doing here?" Saint asks as I step inside the clubhouse, frowning as he takes in my denim shorts and white top. "And dressed like that?"
I roll my eyes at him. I've known Saint for about three years now, and normally I'd think of him as a friend, just another one of the guys. Okay, that's a lie. I've always thought he was good looking — in fact, he's probably the hottest guy I know in real life — but it was always just in a "yeah, he's cute" type of way. But recently something has changed. My heart beats faster when he's around, and I want to look nice for him. I even put on a little makeup before I got here.
It's time I admit that I have a crush on Saint, a crush that is completely one-sided.
Before we could hang out and everything would be normal, but now I get nervous every time he's around, and I think it's because I'm now seeing him in a different light. I wish things would just go back to the way they were before, because we'd just chat, give each other shit or watch movies or something, but now I'm awkward around him and don't know how to act.
Let's add that he's five years older than me and a prospect for the Knights of Fury MC.
The MC my father is president of.
So basically, he's never going to see me as anything more than Hammer's daughter. I need to nip this little crush in the bud as soon as possible, because it's a huge inconvenience to my life.
"What do you mean, what am I doing here?" I ask him, brow furrowing. I walk into the kitchen, and he follows behind me, eating a green apple. "Isn't the party tonight?"
"The party got canceled. Georgia didn't tell you?" he asks as he takes another bite, white teeth flashing, then hops up on the countertop with me standing in front of him.
"No, she didn't," I reply, shrugging. "Oh well, where's Dad then?"
"He's got some business going on here today, which is why I'm surprised that you're here," he continues, pausing and studying me. "Your eyes look really green today."
I narrow said eyes. "Are you okay?"
He jumps down and leans over to put his apple core in the garbage, his body close to mine, but not touching. He's so much taller than my five foot five, and I have to look up to see his face. Blue eyes watch me. He's always watching. There's something about him, about the way he looks at me, like he can see into my soul. It's intense, and almost a little too intense. I wonder if he looks at everyone this way, if maybe it's just who he is. I look away, like I always do, and take a step back.
"I'm fine. How about you? How did your exams go?" he asks, now leaning back against the counter with his arms crossed against his broad chest. With his shoulder-length dark hair, olive skin and those piercing baby blues, it's no wonder he has so many girls after him. I've seen it with my own eyes, once when he took me to the mall, and any time we have a family-friendly party at the clubhouse that I'm allowed to attend. Like a moth to a flame, if Saint is around, he has women around him.
I hate it.
If jealously is that burn in your chest and that feeling of dread in your stomach, then yeah, I've got that. I don't say anything, though. I mean, I can't. Nothing has happened between us, and I'm a child compared to him. He probably doesn't even look at me like that; I'm sure my dad would kill him even if he did. I really hope he doesn't see me as a younger sister, though, because I already have more than enough older brothers than I can handle.
"I aced them," I reply with a wide, smug smile.
"Well done," he compliments, a grin playing on his full lips. "I'm sure it has nothing to do with the new phone Hammer promised you if you passed them all."
"Nothing at all," I reply with a straight face. "You know, it won't be long until I'm finished with school," I remind him, shifting on my feet. Before I know it, I'll be eighteen too. I wonder if that will make any difference to him. I sure as hell hope so. Maybe he will start seeing me in a different light. A girl can dream.
"I know," he replies, looking up at the ceiling. "What are you going to do then?"
While he's looking away, I take him in from head to toe. Dressed in all black, as usual, a V-neck T-shirt, jeans and boots. He has a leather cuff around his wrist, one I know doubles as a manly scrunchie.
"What was the question again?" I ask, licking my suddenly dry lips.
"Don't look at me like that, Skylar," he says with an expression on his face that I can't seem to decipher.
"Like what?" I ask, glancing down and taking a deep breath.
Before he can answer, my dad walks into the kitchen, empty beer in hand. "What you doing here, Sky?"
I purse my lips and turn to him. "What a warm welcome everyone is giving me today."
Dad grins and wraps a big arm around me. He's such a huge man, when I was little he used to remind me of the Hulk. "You know I love having you here. It's just that today we have the other chapter coming in."
"Is that why the party was canceled?" I ask, glancing between Saint and him.
Ever since I became a teen, my dad doesn't like me being here whenever anyone else outside of this chapter is around, so I usually just stay home. I live with my mom and one of my brothers, Brooks, who is closest in age to me, but still four years older. The two of us are like water and oil — we don't mix, and we never have. I have four other older brothers: Logan, Seth, Axel, and Smith. All of them, including Brooks, have the same father, some guy none of them talk to anymore. I have a different biological father; but no one knows who he is. Every time I've asked Mom about him, she has deflected and not given me a proper answer.
"Yeah, I told Georgia to tell you," he continues, making a tsk tsk noise with his tongue. "How did you get here?"
"Brooks dropped me off on his way to basketball."
Dad turns to Saint. "Can you give her a ride home?"
He nods. "No problem."
Dad kisses the top of my head. "I'll see you tomorrow, Sky."
"All right, Dad," I say, bummed about the fact there will be nothing going on tonight for me, no amazing food or company, I'll probably end up being home alone watching TV and binge eating pizza. I suppose I could call up one of my friends to come over and hang out with me, but it won't be as interesting.
Saint and I walk outside, heading toward his bike. I try not to get too excited, but he glances back at me, taking in my attire. "Yeah, let's take the car."
Damn it. I was looking forward to getting on his motorcycle, and it would have been for the first time. I've only ever ridden with my Dad or Temper, one of the other members of the MC, and no one else.
"Fine," I say with resignation, knowing I would have frozen my butt off if we had taken the bike.
He opens the car door for me, which surprises me, and waits until I slide in before he moves to the driver's side. I look up and into the mirror, fixing my long red hair and pushing it back behind my ear as he gets in.
"You look fine" he murmurs, not looking at me.
I close the mirror and eye his profile. "Thank you."
Tension fills the car, and I shift on my seat, swallowing hard. Saint starts the engine and turns on the radio. "Still listen to sheep music?" he asks me, amusement in his tone.
I roll my eyes. "Just because I like listening to the top fifty doesn't make me a sheep. It means I have good taste, because I happen to like popular music. What does that make you then? Liking non-mainstream music doesn't make you any better."
"It makes me a wolf," he replies, flashing his perfect white teeth.
At that very moment, "She Wolf" by Shakira fills the car, and I start to laugh, unable to stop myself.
He shakes his head at me and pulls out of the clubhouse parking lot.
He's more than just a wolf.
He's a Knight.
And that means so much more to me.CHAPTER 3
"Who is that with Saint?" I ask Brooks, scowling as I see the woman rest her palm on his chest.
"Why? She's hot, isn't she?" he says, smacking his lips together. "Saint always picks up the hottest chicks."
That is literally the last thing I want to hear. And I'm sure my brother knows it. He's such an asshole sometimes.
"She's just a hanger-on," I mutter under my breath, glancing over the yard, and then looking up at the sunset to distract myself. I don't need Saint to catch me sending daggers in his direction. It's my eldest brother's birthday party, and I need to focus on that and only that. "Where's Logan?"
"He's on his way," Brooks says, shrugging. "You know Logan. He only comes to these things because Mom makes him."
Not all of us embraced the MC lifestyle. Logan left the second he turned eighteen, and now we pretty much only see him on birthdays and holidays. I know he loves us — he just never fit in here at the clubhouse, and prefers a quieter, private lifestyle. And as he calls it, a less criminal one.
Our family is big, and complicated, but we try our best to make things work and include everyone, even if the birthday boy himself hasn't even shown up yet, and my crush is standing a little too close to some pretty brunette for my liking. I hate that it has to be that way, and there's nothing I can do about it. I'm younger than him, and he sees me as some kid. Yet when we hang out, there's just something there that makes me want to be around him. He shows a different side of himself to me, a side that the rest of the world doesn't see. Maybe it's one-sided, but I have to hope when I'm older, things will be different for us. If not for the brunette.
I decide to head back inside — ignorance is bliss and all of that — and help my mom with the food. "Who made these?" I ask, picking up one of the little mini quiches. "They look delicious."
"I did." She beams, standing up from the oven and turning to me. "I made everything except the cake. Can you call Logan and see where he is? I was thinking we could sing happy birthday to him the second he walks through the door."
It's kind of weird being at a birthday party without the birthday boy, so I agree to call him and see where he is, not that the men here need a reason to party. It will be nice to see Logan, even though he doesn't love being at the clubhouse. He always looked after me growing up, and I do love and miss him. I think because he was the firstborn child, my mom does seem to make more of an effort with him and hates that he has this new life without us. She tries everything to get him to come around more.
"How old is he today again?" I ask, wrinkling my nose and pulling out my new phone from my jean pocket.
"Twenty-nine," she replies, eyes widening. "Wow, I almost have a thirty-year-old."
I hit Logan's name and listen to it ring and go to voicemail. "He's not answering."
"Must be driving," she replies absently.
"Anything else you need me to do?" I ask her, looking around the kitchen.
I have a weird relationship with my mom. We get along, but at the same time we're not very close. We don't seem to understand each other or have any type of the connection I've seen some of my friends have with their mothers. I've always gotten the impression that she wished she had all boys, maybe because she seems to favor all of them. Either way, I'm definitely not her favorite child. In fact, I'm most likely her least.
Hammer makes up for it, though. He is always there for me when I need him, making sure I'm okay and spending time with me. He teaches me new things, laughs at my jokes and is slow to anger. I appreciate him more than he knows.
"No, I've got it under control, Sky. You can keep trying to get in touch with Logan, though," she says, her focus already shifting to whatever dish she's fussing over now.
"Okay," I reply, heading for the living room, and dropping down onto the couch, trying my brother again. When he still doesn't pick up, I expel a deep sigh and rest my head back on the velvet pillow.
"Come here to hide out too?" asks Temper, my dad's friend and the Vice President of the Knights.
"Oh my god," I groan, hand on my heart. "You scared the shit out of me, Temper. Jesus Christ."
He simply grins, arching his brow at me in an amused manner from where he's perched on the opposite couch. "You allowed to cuss now?"
I stick my tongue out at him. "I'm almost grown now, man. I can do what I want, when I want."
We both share a laugh, because we know just how untrue that happens to be.
"You're funny," he says, brown eyes smiling. "You know that? I don't know where you got your personality, because it definitely wasn't from your mother."
I laugh out loud. "Yeah, she's not the funniest woman I've ever met."
In fact, I don't think she's ever told a joke or made me laugh uncontrollably. That's more my dad's job, or even Saint's. Saint can be pretty funny when he wants to be, and has a quiet yet dry type of humor, which I can appreciate.
"I'm funny and cute," I add, batting my lashes slowly. "How lucky I am."
Temper throws a pillow at me. "Try that shit in a few years, and I'm sure you'll have all the men on their knees." He pauses, and then adds, "Actually, none of the Knights, but you know, other men."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Saint"
Copyright © 2019 Chantal Fernando.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
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