***Excerpt*** Defying Destiny

“Yo Dez,” Cage grumbled. He scared the living shit out of me so bad that I instantly dropped the glass that was in my hand.

“Dammit Cage,” I cursed both him and the cold water that splashed on my exposed legs. The rapid racing of my heart did not help calm my nerves either. “You are too fucking big to walk so light.”

“Shit, don’t move.” He demanded but it was already too late.

“Shit!” The slice to the bottom of my foot hurt like a bitch. All I was trying to do was move away from the glass shards scattered on the floor.

“I said don’t move.” He effortlessly picked me up off the floor and deposited me onto the countertop. That was the second time in less than twenty-four hours that he has carried me as if I weighed nothing.

“Ssss,” I hissed seeing the glass sticking out of my foot when Cage hit the light switch. With the kitchen now flooded in light, I could see the mess that I made. The water, glass, and small specks of blood littered the tiled floor. Cage quickly spread a towel over the puddle and scooped up the majority of the glass before chunking all of it into the trash. He swept the rest up.

“Stop.” He swatted my hand away from inspecting my foot.

“I’m trying to get the glass out.”

“…” The look he gave me silenced any other argument that I planned to pose. From the cabinet under the sink, he pulled out a large first aid kit. While he gathered the items he needed, I studied my shaking hands and tried to calm down. In and out, I took deep pulls to try to steady my breathing in hopes that the rest of the anxiety in my body would subside. When I looked at him head on, his pointed look switched to one of conflict.

“What’s the deal Dez?” He asked placing a large hand over my clasped ones.

“I’m fine. You just scared me is all.”

“Apparently but you are still shaking.”

“It’s nothing, I just need a minute.”

“You say that as though this is a regular occurrence for you.”

“…” The only response I could offer was a simple shoulder shrug.

“Use your words, Dez.”

“I have trouble sleeping sometimes or rather staying asleep. Normally, that is accompanied by slight tremors.” As honest as I could get without telling everything, I continued. “I’m sorry if I woke you or interrupted something.”

After I gave the small incomplete spiel, he tended to my wound. While he was busy cleaning the area, I tried to distract myself from the stinging by assessing my surrounding. Cage ended up being the first stop on the tour. Any semblance of a shirt was MIA giving me access to the full exhibit that was Cage, the president of the Lincoln Black Knights Motorcycle Club.

The up-close viewing of his massive chest, contoured pecks, amazing ten-pack abs had nothing on what my imagination could conjure up. Intricate ink detailing covered damn near every inch of his arms and chest. Just past his tight stomach, the defined lines made up the direct bullseye to the land below. The gray lounge bottoms that he wore hung low on his hips and successfully ended the tour of the deep south.

Those damn unfaithful eyes of mine stole a quick glance and were shocked by the huge imprint the pants failed to hide. One quick glance turned into a second and third look to be sure that I wasn’t hallucinating. A strangled gasp sprang from my every being when the extra limb that hung low in those damned pants twitched so hard the material moved. The burn from my probing eyes must have woken the beast and damn I bet it is a beauty.

“You good?” His inquisitive question forced me to look at him in shock. What the fuck kind of question is that? Did he catch me being a pervert? Did he know that my eyes had ventured into dangerous territory? The pinch between his brows made me blush and cringe at the same time.

“Uhm,” I stammered truly lost for words.

“Your foot, does it still hurt?”

“Oh, my foot, yeah—I mean no.” Flustered beyond repair, I took a much-needed breath to get myself under control, stammering like an idiot. “It’s fine, thank you.”

“You need something else to drink?” ‘Would something stronger help or hurt in this awkward moment,’ I thought to myself. “Here drink this.”

“What is this?”

“Liquor, it will numb the pain and possibly help you sleep.”

“If only,” I whispered more to myself than to him. Cage had no idea how bad I needed for him to be right. Undisturbed sleep was what I needed more than anything.

“Ready?” He asked when I swallowed the shot.

“Ready for what?” That awful gutter filled devil’s advocate on my shoulder read too much into that simple question from Cage. What the hell was wrong with me? Never had any inappropriate thoughts ever came about where he was concerned and now all of a sudden, I began to dissect his words. The connotation in which he meant them and what my mind was assuming was completely different.

“Ready to go back to bed?”

“Right, shit. I think I need a couple more shots.” The quirk of his brow let me know that I threw him for a loop with that response. This could not be happening, I was actually ogling my dead boyfriends’ friend, his family. What kind of person does shit like that? The answer to that question was simple, I was nothing but an insensitive floozy.

“You good now,” he asked after I tossed two more shots back.

“I will be,” I giggled as I attempted to slide off the counter but was stopped by his larger than life hands.

“Hold up, let me help you.”

“No, I got it. Shit…” Before I could finish that statement, I was hoisted into the air bridal style.

One large arm was cuffed under my thighs while the other curved around to my ribcage. Heat flooded my body from the shots of liquor and the imprint from his large hands resting on my exposed skin. Curse the stars for wearing nothing but a black nightshirt that otherwise stopped midthigh. Being carried by this giant, it was basically nonexistent as the cool air of the room caressed my exposed ass cheeks.

Embarrassment covered my face while erotic images of him actually ravaging me after he carried me to bed overtook my mind. If the Earth would just open up and swallow me whole, all would be right in the world. A thin sheen of sweat popped up on my exposed skin and I prayed that Cage did not notice. ‘I am so going to hell for this,’ my internal voice was having a field day with this dialogue.

“Do I need to drop the temp?”

“Huh,” I asked dumbly.

“You’re sweaty,” was his reply.

“No, I’m sure I will be fine.” That was a bald-faced lie if I ever heard one, hopefully, he wouldn’t call bullshit.

“If you say so,” he didn’t believe me but what was I supposed to say. Tell him to put the fire out between my legs before I combust, hell no.

“And for the record, I’m sure the sluts love the caveman lift but you have to quit throwing me in the air as if I’m light as a feather.”

“Stop giving me a reason and I will stop.”

“Thank God I had on panties this time,” I mumbled to myself.

“Barely-there panties hardly count.” Stopping near the bed, he dropped the arm under my legs but held me under my arms to keep me balanced.

“Small favors,” I said and shivered. The accidental brush against his front forced me to look up at him to gauge his response. His impassive expression let me further know that I was in the lust boat all alone. With one final shake of my head, I removed my dejected gaze from him and sat down on the bed. The lingering misguided thoughts that were left had to go; they didn’t belong – I was confused enough. Even though that was easier said than done, his third leg made direct eye contact with me before I averted my eyes once again.

“Good night, Cage, and thanks again.”

“It’s all good.”

Once he left the room, I fell against the mattress with a whirlwind of things going on in my head. Lust, sadness, fear, anger, emptiness, despair, and now add drunk to the list as the shots swirled around my empty stomach. This was too much for one person to take. At the rate I was going, something drastic was bound to take place. Whether it was good, bad, or indifferent is where the mysteries lay.

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