Series: A Ruthless Rebels MC #3
Genre: MC Romance
Release: May 19, 2017
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2qichF5
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2puAQfv
Copyright © Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele 2017
All Rights Reserved. This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction in whole or in part, without express written permission from Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele.
This is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
1st edition published: May 2017
Cover Design by: M.L. Pahl of IndieVention Designs
Editing by: Asli Fratarcangeli
Proofreading: Silla Webb
Whitton ‘Skinny’ Thorne – scarred skin only covers a beautiful soul.
Bitter with a capital B.
Life has been hell from the beginning when Whitton was burned as an infant, yet as much as he pushes me away I’m always coming back for more.
When I finally let go, he wants to let me in, how do I survive when we’ve both been scarred?
Chelsea Camaron and Ryan Michele have teamed up to bring you an explosive new MC romance that will have you panting for more of the Ruthless Rebels. Hold on tight, it’s going to be a wild ride full of action and suspense that these two authors are known for. Throw in two people who finally get their second chance, and things are about to get smoking hot.
Fairytales, nursery rhymes, and childhood memories, none of them are really all that great!
Holding my hand in the air with three fingers up, I sing the song about Sally the camel and her humps. Simple.
I don’t have or need complications in my life. Sally has humps that come and go, she has issues, me – I’m good.
The twenty-two smiling children sing along with me with utter enthusiasm. They love this song. Most days we sing it once sometimes twice before we do the weather and calendar first thing in the morning. Our routine, the structure the kids need to thrive, and I need to feel like things are in order.
I look up when the door to my classroom opens.
It’s preschool. The director of the school comes in and out throughout the day so at first I don’t think much of it. When my assistant teacher Ms. Jennifer stands up to take over, it’s then I make my way to the door. As the lead teacher if the director comes in it’s Jennifer who takes over for me and I meet with the director. Any changes necessary from the director, I will make them. Jennifer and I have worked together for three years now so our system is solid.
Beside the director, Ms. Marie, is the cutest little girl. Obviously, this visit is to bring us a new student. Her blue eyes are a bit too big for her face making those rounded little cheeks stand out too. There isn’t fear in her blue depths, but there is a lot going on in that brain of hers. Finishing the song to the delight of the children on the ABC carpet, I let Jennifer continue with the next song. I focus my attention and greet our newest student, warm smile in place.
I bend down to her level looking her in the eyes. “Hello, I’m Ms. Roe and what’s your name?”
“Marlayna,” the little girl in pigtails says softly.
My heart breaks when I see the scar on her neck that her hair isn’t covering. I know those marks too well. I fight back the emotion that sits just under the surface.
This little girl has suffered a tragedy and I hate that for her.
“Would you like to join us in circle time?” I offer as I fight back the past. He is not the only person to be burned in their lives and survive. So many things twist inside me and I have to push it down. The emotions that keep beating down the well-structured walls I’ve built around them over the years always try to spill over, but I won’t allow it. I’ve had no other choice but to keep a handle on it all.
My job is about teaching and nurturing Marlayna, today is not about him or his scars.
She nods her head and the day commences with story time, rhyme time, nap time, and all the normal activities of my day. Marlayna adjusted very well in the class for it being her first day. She went with the flow no trepidation and without much of a reaction to anything.
It pains me. I don’t like when the kids cry, but when they come in almost numb like little Marlayna it hurts more to wonder what has hardened them to life already. Children should be free to be kids not caught up in some adult situation or punished unnecessarily.
The afternoon passes with little Marlayna quickly falling into the routine and making friends. After each of the children are gone and I get my room cleaned up, I head out.
Arriving home, I sit on the sun room of my two-bedroom house and enjoy the Georgia afternoon. When I moved out, this was my one requirement, sun room. I love the outdoors and not feeling closed up.
Blakely, Georgia, population five thousand. Small town lifestyle near the Alabama – Georgia state lines.
April is my favorite month of the year. The weather is sunshine, the birds sing, and the humidity isn’t unbearable so boob sweat is a non-issue for the time being. No woman ever wants boob sweat. August, in the deep south is hotter than hell so I’ll enjoy my outside time while I can.
In fact, tomorrow I think I’ll take my class to have a picnic and maybe do sidewalk chalk and hopscotch on the playground. They love the outside and it helps to get as much of their energy out as possible.
My mind goes to little Marlayna. She is in the system. Foster care, with the Brown family, who are regulars in the community when it comes to taking in children. They will be good to her.
I once knew a boy who lived with the Brown’s. My mind, my heart, they always go back to him. I wish it wouldn’t but we have too much shared between us. His scars were similar to hers only they covered his face and half his body.
Whitton Thorne, the boy down the road with a tortured past. His mom had things so twisted in her head when it came to her twin boys. She believed Whitton was evil and Waylon was the son of Jesus or something crazy. I wasn’t privy to all the details. I just know every time the state let the boys go back to her, Whitton was returned to his social worker more damaged than before. I know once they tried to send Waylon back and leave Whitton with the Brown’s only for Waylon to run away to be with his twin. The two of them were close. In their situation, I would imagine one would have to be. They were also complete opposites.
God, I loved Whitton.
From the beginning when he was the boy I bumped into in grade school to the man who grew into there isn’t a moment in time since I met Whitton Thorne that he didn’t have my attention. He intrigued me. His strength captivated me. And the more time I had with Whitton Thorne in my life the harder I fell in love with him.
Even now, years have passed and I can’t help but hope he’s okay. Hope that somewhere he found his slice of happy.
Night comes and I slide into my t-shirt blend sheets. I don’t make much with my job, but this is my splurge, soft bed sheets. After all, one can’t be at their best with twenty children without a good nights sleep. I close my eyes and the fatigue of the day quickly consumes me.
“Whitton Thorne, one day you’re gonna be the President.” I smile proudly at my friend.
“The President of the rejects club, maybe,” he replies in his normal tone.
I sigh. The boy is nothing short of amazing. He’s smart, athletic, and cute. He just doesn’t see it. Him and his twin brother look nothing alike. All the girls crush on Waylon. He has this mystery to him. Whitton, though, Whitton is the kind of boy you can talk to, really talk to. There is depth to him. The intrigue of him keeps me on edge to know more, see more, and have more time with him. From the time we met in elementary school at eight years old until now he has captured my attention. We’re young, he’s seventeen and I’m sixteen, but I can’t get enough of him.
“What do you see in me, Roelyn Duprey?”
I feel the blush cover my cheeks. “All good, I see all the good in you Whitton.”
He smirks. “You got the wrong Thorne, Roe. Maybe you think I’m Waylon.”
I prop my hand on my hip. “I know what I see in you Whitton and I see potential!”
“You have all the potential, Roe. The future is in front of you and there’s not a single thing to hole you back.” He tells me like he does all the time. “You need to have bigger and better than what Blakely, Georgia and a misfit like me can offer.”
“Oh, Whitton, you will have bigger and better in your life. I know it.”
He laughs me off like he does every single time I tell him I think he’ll be someone someday. Only thing is, I know down to my soul he has so much more to give in this world. My heart bleeds that he doesn’t see it.
My alarms blares drawing me out of the dream. The memory of a lost time when things weren’t complicated and the boy I knew and believed in may not have believed in himself, but back then he believed in me. Something I desperately needed.
Whitton Joseph Thorne, my best friend since we ran into each other playing at recess when we were only eight years old. Twenty years later, I still consider him the best friend I’ve ever had … only everything between us has changed.
No longer is he the boy I thought could give the world goodness. He’s a grown man who left everything in Georgia behind ten years ago when we crossed a line.
Would I cross the line again? If I knew the outcome would be this, I’m not so sure. At the time, it felt right. Hell, I thought it was going to change everything into something we could build a future on.
Except, Waylon took off and Whitton was right behind him. Where one brother went, the other was sure to follow. They had a rough start in life. Bonded as twins, bonded as brothers, and bonded by the times life kicked them while they were down those two would always stick together.
Part of me blames Waylon. The other part of me, knows the truth. Whitton ran. Yes, he woke up after the best night of our lives and couldn’t handle the emotion. He found out Waylon took off and he followed. It was an escape and an all too easy excuse.
I’m not sure he realized that no matter the distance he put between us, he still had me with him. I haven’t figured out a way to get that piece of me back from Whitton yet. Even after all these years, I belong to him in a way that keeps me from moving on.
Looking at little Marlayna yesterday and waking up today, it’s time I let go of Whitton. Everything I thought we could one day be is a far fetched dream. Marlayna has her life ahead of her. No matter the past, she has a future.
The same can be said for Whitton Thorne and it’s a future that he decided would be without me.
Sitting down to a late dinner, I pull out my phone and scroll social media. I don’t know why because it only tells me things I don’t care to know. Even with a bowl of vegetable soup in front of me, my stomach growls at seeing the yummy chocolate desserts. I have a sweet tooth. My ass and hips thank me for it.
Sipping my soup, it warms me. My thumb moves on my phone screen, skipping past people I went to high school with that I never talk to. Why I’m even friends with them, I’ll never know. Maybe it’s time to declutter my life. Most of the time people friend you just to see what you’re doing and then delete you. Personally, I like it when people take out their own trash.
My private message pops up and internally I groan seeing it’s from Lance. Hi. See you’re on. Want to talk to you. He types. I need to figure out how to block people from seeing when I’m on and when I’m not. Or maybe I just need to block him. I’m thinking the latter.
Going out with Lance was up there with many mistakes I made in my life. Two dates, then I called it off. Only he didn’t seem to get the point. Even telling him flat out I wasn’t interested, he still messages me, texts me and calls me. Not wanting to appear rude, I’ve answered all of them. But this, I just don’t want to engage with him. I’m tired of it. I repeat myself all day everyday with my students. My personal life, I don’t want that.
I move the little bubble that shows a picture of a golf club, Lance, and toss it down below to get rid of it off my screen.
The phone begins to ring and I jump. First thought is, Lance is calling me. Then when I look at the screen, I see Elizabeth Calling. A smile crosses my face as I except the call.
“Hey woman!” I greet my best friend. We met in college, which seems like a lifetime ago, but really wasn’t.
“Hey back at ya! What are you doing? I want to meet for drinks.”
I look to the clock noting it’s only five-thirty, but I do have to work tomorrow. Drinking and then rowdy children in the morning is not a good combination.
“Is something up?” I take the last bite of my soup and push it to the side.
“Yes, but I don’t want to tell you over the phone. Meet me in twenty at Carlyle’s?”
Looking down at my clothes, the puppy dog pajama bottoms won’t cut it going out. “Give me thirty. I need to change.”
“Epp.” She makes the sound then, “Okay, see you then.” And disconnects. Whatever she has in store must be exciting.
At least one of us has something good going on.
USA Today Bestselling author Chelsea Camaron is a small town Carolina girl with a big imagination. She is a wife and mom chasing her dreams. She writes contemporary romance, erotic suspense, and psychological thrillers. She loves to write blue-collar men who have real problems with a fictional twist. From mechanics to bikers to oil riggers to smokejumpers, bar owners, and beyond, she loves a strong hero who works hard and plays harder.
Chelsea Social Media links:
Ryan Michele Bio:
Ryan Michele found her passion in making fictional characters come to life. She loves being in an imaginative world where anything is possible and has a knack for special twists readers don’t see coming.
She writes MC, Contemporary, Erotic, Paranormal, New Adult, Inspirational, and many more romances. And whether it’s bikers, wolf shifters, mafia, or beyond, Ryan spends her time making sure her heroes are strong and her heroines match them at every turn.
When she isn’t writing, Ryan is a mom and wife living in rural Illinois and reading by her pond in the warm sun.
Ryan Social Media Links:
In the Series:
Shamed (Ruthless Rebels #1)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2lrH0xv
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2kb11by
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2kb77sq
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2kPNWBy
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2ootw7S
Scorned (Ruthless Rebels #2)
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2kA4KxJ
Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2l1cIRb
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2kA04Ir
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2l0Rp26
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2oBCWb1