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Ravenous (Steel Brothers Saga #11)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Helen Hardt

Language:
English
ISBN/ ASIN:
1642631361 (ISBN13: 9781642631364)
Book Information:

Bryce Simpson did the only thing he could. He spurned Marjorie Steel. Even though he’ll be living on her ranch, he is determined to stay away from her. She’s worthy of more than he can even think about giving, especially now that long-buried memories are surfacing and he’s learning that his father’s sins may go even deeper than he imagined.

Bryce’s rejection destroys Marjorie, and she descends to a dark place she thought she’d abandoned forever. She emerges stronger, though, and is determined not to let heartbreak rule her life. Change is the answer, she’s sure, so she makes plans—plans that include a handsome personal trainer she meets at the gym.

When Bryce and Marjorie are thrown together, though, their ravenous hunger for each other takes over, leaving both of them more vulnerable than they realize.

Books in Series:

Steel Brothers Saga Series by Helen Hardt

Books by Author:

Helen Hardt Books

Prologue

Sometimes, when I’m watching, a memory haunts me. Torments me.

Reminds me why I’m watching.

Sometimes, when I’m watching, anger rages at me, pours out of me through my fists.

Reminds me why I’m watching.

Sometimes, when I’m watching, despair trickles through me, taking part of my soul.

Reminds me why I’m watching.

Most of the time, though…

I feel nothing.

Chapter One

Bryce

After staring at her for as long as I could and choking back a tear that threatened, I covered Marjorie’s sleeping body.

I love you.

Had she meant to say the words aloud? They’d come out on a soft sigh during one of her many climaxes, and though I’d yearned to return them, I hadn’t.

I couldn’t go there. Not yet. Not until…

Not until I’d dealt with the demons that plagued me…including the long-buried secret from Joe’s and my past that threatened us now.

I had to move on, make her understand that we couldn’t ever be. I dressed quietly and then walked out to the desk in the kitchen. After finding a notepad and pen, I scribbled down some words.

Noxious words I didn’t mean but had to say. She needed to move on, and I needed to help her. I walked back into the bedroom where my perfect angel still slept. I kissed her cheek lightly. She moved slightly but didn’t wake up.

I wanted to remember her like this—soft and innocent and beautiful. So fucking beautiful.

I’m sorry, I said silently. I’m sorry I can’t be what you deserve.

One more light kiss to her silky forehead.

Then I laid the note on the nightstand next to her.

I walked out of the bedroom.

Out of the guesthouse.

Out of Marjorie Steel’s life.

I opened the door of the Mustang—I really needed to get rid of this damned car—sat down in the driver’s seat, and pulled my phone out of my pocket.

Marjorie’s text glared at me.

I need to talk to you.

We hadn’t talked. I’d attacked her as soon as I got here. She hadn’t resisted, but still…I should have asked her what she wanted to talk about. Instead, I’d chosen to be a selfish bastard and take from her body what I needed to stay sane.

Funny. The more I had of her, the less sane I became. The more I had of her, the more I wanted her, which was why I’d left. Why I’d written those hurtful words. Cold turkey was the only way to go with Marjorie Steel. Somehow, I’d have to find the willpower to leave her alone.

But she’s in love with you.

She’d said the words in the throes of passion. I’d been thinking them myself but had held back. I wasn’t even sure if she was aware she’d uttered them. If she could see inside my head, inside my dark soul, she’d see the truth.

I wasn’t worth loving.

She was, though. She was so strong and so passionate. She deserved the world. I wanted to give it to her more than anything, but how could I? I was an empty shell—someone masquerading as a man but desolate inside.

I had such hatred for myself, and I hadn’t thought I could hate myself any more.

But I did.

I did because I’d written those despicable words to the woman who meant more to me than anyone—other than my son—ever had.

I’d written them so she could see me for who I truly was—someone who could never give her what she deserved. The only way she’d stay away from me was if she thought I was a true louse.

I ruminated over the words I’d left on the page.

You can still sneak back in, destroy the note before she sees it…

I erased the thought from my mind. I’d done the only thing I could. She would hate me now, with good reason. I had to live with that.

I drove home, checked on a sleeping Henry, and then collapsed onto my bed for the last time.

Tomorrow we’d move to the guesthouse.

Chapter Two

Marjorie

The note was callous.

The words were cruel.

Even the sheet of paper was crisp and unsympathetic.

Bryce Simpson was heartless.

I’d fallen in love with a heartless man.

My purse sat on a chair on the other side of the room. Still naked from our night of passion, I rose and grabbed it. Inside the hidden pocket was something I’d kept, even though I’d promised Mel I’d trashed it.

It was a reminder.

It was a security blanket.

Right now I needed it.

Stop.

I could walk to the kitchen. Open the refrigerator. Let the blast of cold air ease the unpleasantness from my mind.

Yes, it would be easier.

Much easier than…

I unzipped the pocket slowly and withdrew the sharp razor blade. I sat back down on the bed and regarded the scar on my upper thigh. It was still red, but it had healed. If I left it alone, it would eventually turn white and then gradually fade over the years.

Slowly, I lowered the blade to my flesh.

But the note caught my gaze once more. Why torture myself?