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Mess Me Up (Bear Bottom Guardians MC #1)
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When Rome Pierce moved to Bear Bottom, Texas, it was his intention to lay low. To not be seen. To find a way to heal his body and soul—as well as his son’s.
Nobody would know by looking at him that he used to play professional football. Not with the Bear Bottom MC cut covering his back, and definitely not with his friendly smile completely obliterated.
No longer is there charm in each smooth word that comes out of his mouth. What’s left is an angry, bitter, scared man that’s terrified one day he’s going to wake up and his entire world is going to be gone.
Nobody knows what drove him to leave the game he loved—nobody but her.
She’s the one person that has helped him make it through the dark days and even darker nights. She’s the bright and shining star in his pitch-black sky.
And he doesn’t even know her name.
He should be afraid that she knows things that not anyone—not even his best friend—knows.
Yet, with each encounter, he gives what little bit of his soul remains, and before he knows it only two people on this earth—one dying, and one too afraid to live—make his life worth living.
Until one day he has to choose—the love of his life, or the life he brought into this world.
Two impossible situations. One decision that would change him forever.
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Sometimes life just kicks you in the balls and you have to deal with it.
-Rome’s secret thoughts
RP’s Biggest Fan,
I’m not sure how you became my therapist, or how we even got to the point of being pen pals, but I’ll take what I can get.
I could use a friend.
So, you want to hear about my life? How it’s nowhere near as glamorous as everyone makes it out to be?
Where should I start?
How about the paparazzi. They’re awful. They follow me home. They follow me to work. They follow me to my son’s appointments—though technically, they don’t know he’s my son. Luckily. That was one thing I did manage to do right—keeping him out of the limelight.
Lucky for me, too. Or, at least for him.
And if the paparazzi wasn’t bad enough, my ex was only with me for my money—because she knew that I had it.
If there was one thing I could erase from my life, it would be her.
But, if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have my son…and at this point, he’s the single bright light in the sea of darkness that is my life.
Last week she threatened to sue me because I broke the custody agreement we have for our son. Do you want to know what I did? Nothing. Not one damn thing. I stayed at her house while she went away for the day, and I put a drink on her coffee table.
Let me repeat that…I put a drink on her coffee table.
Ok, so it was a Coke can, and I didn’t use a coaster… but I’d finished the damn thing. It was completely empty, it wasn’t sweating, and it didn’t leave any sort of mark.
But, with the way she reacted, you would’ve thought that I’d carved my initials in the table using a screwdriver or something.
Oh, and let’s not forget what my team manager wants me to do.
He wants me to pose naked except for a strategically positioned football for Sports Illustrated. When did Sports Illustrated stop focusing on sports in favor of selling what’s sexy?
You told me last week that you weren’t sure that you were going to write anymore. I realize that this back and forth we have going on isn’t normal, but if it doesn’t bother you, it doesn’t bother me.
I hope you write to me soon, RP’s Biggest Fan.
I do all my ironing in the dryer.
-Rome’s secret thoughts
“I can’t do this anymore, Rome.” Tara’s sad eyes met mine. “It hurts too much to watch him suffer. I…I have to go.” She transferred my sleeping son into my arms as she spoke.
I looked at my baby mama, the woman that I was never really in love with but had given me my son. The same woman who had literally taken everything I’d ever loved away from me.
First and foremost, she had been the reason I lost my best friend, Tyler.
“What about Matias?” I asked, trying to think of something, anything, else but Tyler. “What am I going to tell him when he wakes up?”
She squared her shoulders and then shot me what was her best attempt at a pain-filled expression.
“I don’t know,” she admitted. “But what I do know is that I can’t watch my baby die. I just can’t.”
Then she pulled her suitcase into the entry and turned around, going through the door, never once looking back.
I knew what she was saying was a lie. That whole scene was nothing but a big, fat lie.
The only reason she stayed with Matias as long as she had was because doing so gave her access to me—and my wallet. I’d been a professional football player when we met, but after I announced my retirement at the end of last season, Tara changed.
Then I went and joined a motorcycle club, and well…that, as one would say, was all she wrote.
She thought she’d signed up for a life of fat paychecks, the notoriety of being a professional football player’s wife, and everything else that came with that life. What she did not sign up for was a sick kid, a washed-up football player, and a man who was slowly losing everything he’d been given.
The one thing that had saved me was my motorcycle club—the Bear Bottom Guardians.
Bear Bottom, Texas was a small town between Longview and Kilgore, right in the middle of nowhere—at least at first. The town was founded by the MC and growing a hell of a lot faster than anyone ever imagined it would.
The population had started small—a mere few hundred souls—and had grown to almost twenty times that—and almost all of them had been bikers, their old ladies, and their families.
Bear Bottom Guardians had been just an idea at first, but slowly over the course of the years since the club had been formed, it’d turned into something much more. A place to be without having to worry about who you were.