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After Burn (Lost Kings MC #10)
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One spilled secret shines a light on the throne of lies I’ve been sitting on for years.
After Burn is the 10th full-length novel in the popular Lost Kings MC series. It is not meant to be read as a standalone.
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Everyone sees what you appear to be. What you allow them to see. Few people ever experience who you really are. Even fewer will ever know who you are deep down in your soul.
People who fall into each of those categories surround me tonight.
“You know she’s your wife, right?” Z taps my shoulder with his fist, but it barely registers. “You look like a lion about to pounce on a ham sandwich.”
I doubt she heard him over the loud music pumping through the clubhouse, but Hope drags her gaze across the room to where we’re standing. The corners of her mouth turn up and pink races over her cheeks as she meets my stare.
“Christ, after all this time, you can still make her blush with a look?”
Fuck yeah, I can, and it’s still one of my favorite things about my wife. If I still get that reaction out of her when I’m eighty and gray, I’ll consider it one of my best achievements.
“Girl practically melts when she looks at you.” Z shakes his head. “Just go,” he says, clearly exasperated with my lack of attention. “We can talk about the run tomorrow morning.”
“Thanks,” I mumble before I stalk across the room, brushing past people, impatient to get to my wife. Hope doesn’t break her conversation with Teller and Charlotte when I wrap my arms around her waist and mold myself to her back, but she acknowledges me by running her hands over my arms.
I lean down and nuzzle her neck. “Let’s go upstairs.”
“Rock.” She squeezes the arm that’s wrapped around her like a python. “Teller and Charlotte want to have us over for dinner so we can see all the work they’ve done to their house.”
“We meant to have you over sooner but wanted everything presentable before we—” Charlotte trips over the words, stopping midsentence.
Do I make her nervous?
Charlotte’s a brave girl. Stabbed her uncle when he went after her. Stood up to Wrath when he voted her down. She’s a smart lawyer who spends her days arguing in court. But she always seems flustered around me. I’m not sure how I feel about that. She’s makes Teller happy, though, and the club trusts her now. Those are the only things that matter.
“Whenever you’re ready. Let us know.”
Teller’s been adamant about doing the work at his house on his own. Or from what Murphy says, Teller’s been putting Charlotte’s brother to work. He’s the most relaxed and least obnoxious he’s ever been in all the years I’ve known him. For that alone, Charlotte’s earned my respect.
“So, does Carter have to finish all his chores before you allow him to go on this trip?” A soft laugh follows Hope’s question.
“I guess I’ll give him the time off.” Teller smirks. “Actually, he’s a hard worker, once I get him motivated.”
I wait for Charlotte to defend her brother, but she shrugs. “He’s never been very focused.” She jerks her thumb in Teller’s direction. “Mr. Discipline here has been showing him the ropes.”
Hope laughs again, brushing against me in a way that sets off a fierce hunger through every muscle in my body. “Sounds like someone else I know.” She squeezes my arm. “Is Teller’s motto ‘early is on time’ too?”
Teller grins and lifts his chin at me. “I probably got that from him.”
“Nah, you were always a dependable, hard worker.”
Teller’s eyes widen as if I’ve never given him a compliment before. Jesus Christ, my work never ends.
I slide my hands down to Hope’s waist, my fingers digging into her hips. She responds by shifting her ass and ever-so-slightly grinding it into my already throbbing erection.
This party can wait.
I tug on her hand. “I need a word with my first lady.”
Teller’s mouth tips into a lazy smile. “Sure, Prez.”
“Text me, Charlotte,” Hope calls out as I drag her away. She runs a few steps to catch up with me, laughing the whole time. “What are you doing?”
“I need you.”
She lets out an exasperated snort. “You have me anytime you want.”
She trots up the stairs behind me. “We have a house we can go to.”
“Can’t wait that long.”
Inside our old room, I don’t even bother flipping on the light. I press her back to the door and lean down, brushing my lips over hers. There’s enough moonlight coming in through the windows to see her green eyes, glittering with amusement and love.
I pull back, fighting my own smile. “What’s so funny, baby doll?”
She loops her arms around my neck and stares up at me. “Nothing. I just love you.”
Heat spreads over my skin. I never tire of her saying those words. “I have something for you.”
“I figured that was why you dragged me up here.”
Slipping my hand in my pocket, I pull out a small box. “A little something for our road trip.”