Read Cole (The Ride Series) Online

Authors: Megan O'Brien

Cole (The Ride Series)

 
 
 
 
 
 

Cole

Book One in the Ride
Series

by

Megan O’Brien

 
 

Prologue

He watched her from his place across
the street, his nostrils flaring with anger. Somehow his girl had forgotten that
she belonged to him. Clearly she just needed to be reminded, forcefully if
necessary. Her place was by his side, and he’d see to it that she returned
there before long. He continued to watch with his heart thudding in his chest
as he studied her beautiful red hair that tumbled down her back, and the shy
smile that lit up her face as she passed an older couple on the street. Even
after all this time she was still the most beautiful girl, now woman that he’d
ever seen. His eyes trailed down her curvaceous body with an insatiable feeling
of possession. She was headed to work at the brewery on
third. He’d
been watching her for weeks and was familiar with her schedule. It wasn’t
difficult. She pretty much just worked and hung out with that little
raven-haired roommate of hers. There was no other man to get in his way, not that
that would stop him. She’d been gone over eight years and he’d come to claim
what was rightfully his. Her time was almost up--he was done waiting.

 
 
 

Chapter One

“Sorry sweetheart, like I said the
part’s not
gonna
be here until Friday,” the bored looking
mechanic told me yet again. He didn’t even bother looking up from his computer
screen as I tried to keep my anger in check.

“First of all, don’t call me
sweetheart,” I replied impatiently while straightening my shoulders.

That at least earned me some eye
contact.

“And second of all, you’ve had my car
for over four days now, two more days longer than we agreed,” I pointed out as
a drill started up in the distance. “I know for a fact that over three supply
shops within twenty miles carry the part you need, so why don’t you explain to
me why it’s taking so goddamn long to fix my car?” I demanded, hearing a low
chuckle behind me that I ignored. The mechanic’s brows shot up in surprise at
my unexpected knowledge.

“What, girls can’t do research?” I asked
tartly.

“I’ll make a call,” he mumbled after a
moment.

“You do that,” I replied, crossing my
arms over my chest gesturing that I’d wait while he did it right then.

I might have taken it a little easier
on the guy except for the fact that I took the bus to the shop expecting to
leave with my car. The thought of another bus ride in the 90-degree weather was
far from appealing. Plus, getting around without my wheels was a serious pain
in the ass. I narrowed my eyes and tapped my toe as the mechanic stared at my
chest instead of picking up the phone. Nope, on second thought, wouldn’t have
taken it easier on him regardless of the heat. He mumbled something incoherent
before finally picking the phone up to dial.

“Shit, sure as hell wouldn’t want to
get on your bad side,” a voice muttered, while a low chuckle sounded again
behind me.

I turned around to see who was so
amused with my situation only to feel my heart stop and then restart inside my
chest. He was tall, well over six feet with dirty blond, unruly hair and the
brightest blue eyes I’d ever seen. His lips were full and were currently
quirked into an amused sexy-as-all-hell smile. His tight, black T-shirt clung
to his muscular chest and slim waist in a way that made my mouth dry. He
screamed confidence and testosterone right down to his motorcycle boots –something
I was far too familiar with from my youth. Of course he had to be a biker, the
one type of guy I’d sworn off for life and had done everything in my power to
distance myself from. His blue eyes looked intensely down into mine in a way
that felt much too intimate, and I steeled myself against the butterflies in my
stomach.

“Yeah, well you try being without a
car for the better part of a week and see how it affects your mood,” I replied
coolly.

“Fair enough,” he grinned. “Though I’d
go easy on poor Manny, I think you’re making him nervous,” he whispered while
leaning toward me. I could almost feel the heat coming off of him and I chastised
myself for having such a physical reaction to a complete stranger.

I rolled my eyes forcing myself not to
return his smile. I was sure that smile got him whatever he wanted the majority
of the time, and I was far too practiced with his type to let it phase me.

I heard
Manny
hang up the phone and I turned back to him expectantly.

“Okay, I can get the part before the
end of the day and your car will be ready tomorrow,” he told me gruffly.

“It’s a miracle,” I grumbled
sarcastically.

He huffed, clearly irritated, all
while continuing to allow his eyes to wander below eye level.

I rolled my eyes. “Fine, I’ll be back
tomorrow to pick it up,” I sighed, not at all excited about hoofing it back to
the bus stop instead of being able to drive off in my car.

“Sorry for the hassle,” he threw in
half-heartedly.

“Yeah, you seem real torn up,” I
snorted, throwing my purse over my shoulder. I forced myself not to spare
another glance at the gorgeous man behind me, and I strode out into the hot
sun.

I could feel his eyes boring holes
into my back. I had to admit that I was pleased as all hell that I’d worn my
cute jean shorts that showed off my toned legs, cowboy boots, and a form
fitting tank top that displayed just a hint of cleavage. I’d always been well
endowed, but when I was younger my chest had made me self-conscious. As I’d
gotten older, I’d become more confident about my body. I didn’t try to cover up,
but I didn’t flaunt my assets either.
 
I tossed my long, slightly wild hair over
my shoulder and took a deep breath before facing the inevitable and crossing
the street toward my stop.

“Wait up a second,” I heard the
biker’s deep voice call behind me in a commanding tone. I turned to face him,
surprised to see him following me.
“I’ll give you a ride,” he informed me, his blue eyes covered by a pair of
wayfarers. He looked down at me as a small smile quirked at the edges of his
beautiful mouth.

I looked at him in surprise before
shaking my head. “Thanks, but no. I’ll catch the bus,” I declined.

He tilted his head to the side,
seeming to study me for a moment. “It’s going to take you twice as long to take
the bus and I can tell you’re not thrilled at the prospect.” He was grinning
now, clearly enjoying himself.

“Who would be?” I replied. Despite the
warnings in my head I couldn’t help but let out a short laugh at his teasing grin.
“But I don’t know you, and I wouldn’t be comfortable getting in a car with you
or having you know where I live,” I bluntly stated.

“What if it’s on a bike and you tell
me to drop you a few blocks from home?” he bargained with a slow smile.

I inwardly groaned. Of course it was a
bike. And, the truth was that my resolve was wavering. I was beginning to sweat
just standing there and the thought of my journey home taking ten minutes as
opposed to an hour sounded pretty enticing.

“It’s only a ride I swear,” he said
earnestly, taking his sunglasses off so I could see his eyes. It was a gesture that
I found to be surprisingly thoughtful. “And all these guys are witness to you
leaving with me,” he grinned, pointing to the bustling mechanic shop.

“Yeah, because they’re all such
upstanding citizens,” I muttered, making him laugh.

He got a sudden twinkle in his eye and
pulled out his phone. He dialed and held it to his ear all while smiling down
at me.

“Hank? Yah, is
Ettie
around?” he asked while I stared at him in confusion. “I just need her to do me
a quick favor,” he explained. “
Etts
? Hey, I’m
standin
’ here outside Manny’s garage trying to convince
this absolutely gorgeous girl to let me give her a ride home.”

My mouth opened in shock as he winked
at me.

“But she seems to think that she might
not be one hundred percent safe with me. I was hoping that woman to woman, you
might be able to vouch for me.” He listened for a moment and chuckled, the
attractive sound shooting right through to my already galloping heart. “Yah? Ok
thanks,” he said as he handed the phone over to me. “Name’s Cole by the way,
phone’s for you.” He winked again. I didn’t know whether to be annoyed or
thoroughly charmed.

I took the phone and held it to my
ear. “Hello?” I asked cautiously.

“Hi, this is
Ettie
.
Who’s this?” a friendly sounding female voice chirped from the other end.

“Scarlet,” I replied, watching Cole’s
reaction to hearing my name. His eyebrows rose and I thought I detected
pleasure in his expression.

“Well Scarlet, I know we’ve never met,
but I’ve known Cole for over five years. He and my old man are good friends,” she
explained while I looked everywhere but at the gorgeous blue eyes twinkling
down at me. “You couldn’t be safer than with him,” she continued. “He’s a
really safe driver and I swear he’s not a serial killer,” she said as she giggled.
“He must really like you if he’s so determined to give you a ride,” she mused.

“Um, ok thanks,” I replied, cutting
her off. I didn’t want to think too hard as to why he wanted so badly to give
me a ride home.

“Have fun!” she said, and then laughed
before hanging up.

I handed the phone to him and he took
it back looking as though he was going to continue to dial.

“What are you doing?” I asked in
confusion.

“Continuing my reference check,” he
replied, completely serious.

I couldn’t help
it,
I let out a deep belly laugh. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed so
freely with a complete stranger, but it felt good. There was something about
him that I trusted despite all my best efforts not to. “It’s okay. I think one
reference is sufficient, along with our esteemed witnesses over there,” I
replied gesturing back to the mechanic shop.

“Glad to hear it,” he grinned.

I followed him back to his gorgeous
Harley. Despite my aversion to bikers, I loved bikes and it had been far too
long since I’d been on the back of one.

“Have you ridden a bike before?” he
asked throwing on his leather jacket, the patch on the sleeve confirming what
I’d known right away, that he belonged to a Motorcycle Club.

“A time or two,” I admitted, forcing
myself to keep a straight face. He eyed me speculatively for a moment while he
clasped his helmet beneath his chin. God he was gorgeous, it was so unfair.

He handed me a spare helmet. The same
helmet that I’m sure he gave to every woman who rode on the back of his bike. I
threw a leg over the bike, as the engine roared to life, and hopped up behind
him. I sighed with the familiarity of it all—it was like being back home.

“Where am I
goin
'?”
he asked loudly over the noise of the bike.

“Do you know where the high school
is?” I asked.

He nodded.

“Take a left at the school and I’ll
guide you from there,” I told him.

“Okay, hang on
darlin
',”
he replied with a grin.

I rolled my eyes but obliged by
wrapping my arms around his leather clad torso, secretly loving the feel of his
body in front of mine as we took off out of the parking lot. I couldn’t fight
my grin as we roared through town. I absolutely loved every second of the ride,
and having my arms around such a gorgeous guy wasn’t half bad either. My inner
thighs rested snugly against him, and I had to force my mind off of the tingles
that shot through me from the intimate contact. I was surprised that I felt
safe enough to direct him to my apartment instead of to a few houses down. I was
enjoying the ride so much that it felt like we were pulling up to the curb in
what felt like seconds. He turned off the bike as I swung off and unfastened
the helmet.

“Thanks for the ride,” I said
sincerely, raking my fingers through my now very tousled hair.

He watched my fingers for a moment
before meeting my eyes. “You’re welcome,” he replied, accepting the helmet I
handed back to him.

“How about you give me your number and
we can go for a ride again sometime?” he offered with a smile that was broad
enough to show his dimple. Why did he have to be a biker of all things?

“I can’t,” I replied quietly, meeting
his intense gaze.

“Boyfriend?” he asked.

I shook my head. “I um…” I muttered as
I struggled with how to respond without sounding like a total bitch. I decided that
honesty was the best method. “I don’t date bikers,” I said with a shrug.

His brows rose in amused surprise. “You
don’t date bikers?” he repeated. “I’ve never seen a girl enjoy being on the
back of a bike more, but you don’t date bikers,” he said as he chuckled.

I could feel the blush creep over my
cheeks. “That sounds about right,” I admitted. “Thanks again for the ride, it
was nice to meet you,” I replied quickly before I did something really stupid like
agree to see him again.

“Don’t you want to know my last name?”
he called as I turned toward my place.

“Nope,” I called back over my
shoulder.

I could hear his chuckle over the roar
of the engine as he started up the bike. I let myself into my apartment with
shaking hands and forced myself not to give him one last glance before he rode off.

“Was that a Harley I heard?” my
roommate and best friend, Kat, asked incredulously when I shut the door behind
me and leaned against it heavily.

“Yep,” I muttered.

“Oh, this I have to hear,” she said
with grin.

Kat and I had known each other since
I’d moved to Nevada eight years ago. She was the only person who knew
absolutely everything about me, including why I had an aversion to bikers.
Unfortunately my aversion didn’t mean that I wasn’t attracted to them--things
would be a hell of a lot easier if it did.

“I need a beer,” I grumbled, dropping
my purse and heading toward the fridge.

Our place was simple but well
maintained. Despite the somewhat shady neighborhood, our landlord took pride in
the building. Our apartment was on the second floor and faced the street, which
wasn’t great for security, but I’d never felt unsafe. It had an open living
room with hardwood floors. The whole place had high ceilings and felt airy and
open, which helped during the summer when we stayed inside a lot because of the
heat. The kitchen was a simple alley style with dated appliances that by some
miracle continued to work. One of my favorite parts of the kitchen was the bar
that we’d furnished with four stools. Instead of using a dining table and
chairs, we ate there. Neither one of us cooked a lot or entertained much at our
place so we didn’t need anything fancy. Both of us had good-sized bedrooms, and
we had a small stone covered patio that was just big enough for the grill we
never used.

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